It's hard to go past a good pea and ham soup, and the addition of celeriac in the Dutch version, traditionally called erwtensoep, is most welcome. With a slight aniseed flavour and creamy texture, it will become a new favourite.
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
- 2 leeks (white part only), thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 400 gm celeriac, cut into 3cm cubes, plus 100gm extra, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 1 smoked ham hock (about 950gm)
- 300 gm smoked pork ribs
- 500 gm split peas, rinsed well, drained
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 2 smoked sausages, such as knackwurst or rookwurst, thinly sliced
- To serve: celery leaves and snow pea tendrils
- 1Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, celery, onion and garlic, and sauté until very tender (10-12 minutes). Add chopped celeriac, ham hock, smoked ribs, split peas and 3 litres water. Bring to the simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, topping up with water to keep ham hock covered and skimming off foam from the top occasionally, until ham hock and split peas are very tender (2½-3 hours). Remove hock and ribs and set aside to cool, then shred meat (discard skin, bones and sinew). Purée soup with a hand-held blender, add meat to soup, heat through, season to taste and keep warm.
- 2Heat vegetable oil in a deep-sided frying pan or deep-fryer to 160C. Add sliced celeriac and fry, turning occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a tray lined with paper towels using a slotted spoon. Season to taste with sea salt flakes and set aside until required.
- 3Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, cook sausages, turning occasionally, until golden (1-2 minutes). Serve scattered over hot soup with celery leaves and snow pea tendrils, and celeriac chips to the side.
Drink Suggestion: Full-flavoured wheat beer. Drink suggestion by Max Allen