Last Friday the World Championships Cooking Pea Soup and Stamppot 2011 were held at the kitchens of the Euroborg football stadium in Groningen. Dozens of Dutch amateur and professional chefs, and one German, battled for the honour of calling themselves the best pea soup chef or the best stamppot chef of 2011 (stamppot is potatoes mashed with vegetables).
The winners of the 16th edition were one J. Krist for pea soup, and one E. Grootte-Bromhaar for stamppot.
Dutch pea soup, called snert, is traditionally made with split peas, several types of pork, celeriac, and additional ingredients like onions, leek and carrot. It is often served with rye bread and bacon, and like stamppot is a staple of the Dutch kitchen.
A 19th century recipe for Dutch pea soup from a cook book called Betje de Goedkope Keukenmeid (Betty the Cheap Kitchen Maid) goes as follows:
Prepare the green peas by soaking them overnight in rain water. Hang the peas and the water you soaked them in over the fire, and boil off most of the water. Now that the peas are done, rub them apart with a wooden spoon, and add bits of salted bacon and sausage, a bit of celery and black salsify; some people like to add onions also. If you don’t want pea skins in your soup, either rub the peas apart over a sieve once their done, or use split peas.