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This recipe first appeared in Dutch, Issue 8 November/December 2012
It is so cold outside! It's snowing and these dark days before Christmas sure makes me just want to curl up on the couch, grab a good book and hide from the elements. But no such luck! I need to head out in this weather to get some last-minute groceries, the Sunday newspaper and maybe a stocking stuffer or two. Sinterklaas has come and gone, now it's time for the Kerstman!
With all the eating, baking, sampling and tasting that is going on these days in this household, there is very little need for a full meal. But a quick pick-me-up cup of soup during this time really hits the spot.
Today, I made a quick mosterdsoep, a mustard soup. A variety of regions in The Netherlands produce coarse grain mustards, like Doesburg, Groningen and the Zaanstreek area, all with a slight variation on flavor, coarseness and ingredients. It is a traditional item served with many of our foods: it's hard to imagine bitterballen or kroketten without mustard, or a gehaktbal on bread, without a generous lick of the creamy, dark yellow condiment.
Mosterdsoep is a velvety, creamy soup that tastes like,
well, mustard. Select a coarse grain mustard if you can find it, preferably a Doesburgse or Zaanse Mosterd. If not, try something like Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground mustard for
a valid substitute. It is best with some crispy bacon garnish, and a slice of rustic
1 small leek 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth 4 tablespoons of coarse grain mustard
Wash and thinly slice the leek, white part only. Melt the butter in a pan and
slowly sweat the vegetable. When it starts to release its lovely fragrance, stir in
the flour to make a roux. Carefully continue to stir the butter and flour until it's come together, much like a paste, until it’s slightly golden. Now add the
broth little by little, all the while stirring, making sure the roux incorporates all the liquid. Make sure there are no lumps.
Bring to a boil, and boil for a good five minutes, until the soup thickens
slightly. Turn down the heat to simmer, stir in the mustard and stir slowly
until it dissolves. Taste. Adjust the flavor with some more mustard or a bit of
salt if needed.
Mosterdsoep can be
served as is, or with some crispy bacon as a garnish.