By Karen Vivers
Dutch Mustard Soup
At first, when I heard about Mustard Soup, I thought it must be a joke. It must be just a name surely, because of course you can’t make soup out of mustard – can you? I began to wonder if we were talking about a version of the mythical ‘stone soup’. I watched others eat it and it didn’t look appetizing, a sort of muddy sludge. What I didn’t know at the time is that the Mustard Soups I had witnessed were ones from a packet. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I tried it in the safety of a friend’s house. As he set the plates of mustard soup down, all I could do was make the same anticipatory noises as my fellow Dutch diners and hope for the best. As I dove in for my first mouthful, I got mentally prepared and told myself to be polite and not to grimace if it was awful. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This was proper Dutch Mustard Soup, the way it was supposed to be. Creamy and light with a background of mustard flavour – delicious! I wouldn’t be without this recipe.
I really like to serve this as a starter to a fish based meal, but of course it is a great precursor to meats too.
You will notice that some of my ingredients are not quite Dutch, I have adapted this, if only slightly, to my own taste.
Preparation Time: less than 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 people
Ingredients for 4 Servings
150gr / 5.3 oz. bacon lardons
40gr / 1.5 oz. plain flour
40gr / 1.5 oz. unsalted butter
1 x liter / 1.7 pt. (UK) / 2 x pt. (US) chicken stock
100ml / 3.4 fl. oz. single cream
1 x medium sized shallot chopped very finely
2 x large cloves of garlic chopped very finely
2 x tbsp of grain mustard
2 x tsp of English Mustard
½ a fresh nutmeg grated
Salt and pepper
Freshly chopped spring onion to dress
- Fry off the bacon in a frying pan until it is cooked and crispy, set aside. You can drain off any excess oil by placing the bacon on some kitchen paper for a while.
- In your soup pan, add the butter and heat until melted, then fry off the garlic and shallots gently so that they soften but don’t take on colour. This should take about a minute.
- Then it’s time to make the roux which is the base of this soup. Add the flour and stir quickly into the butter mix with a wooden spoon until coated, then add the stock and whisk through with a metal whisk. Keep going until the soup starts to thicken. This should take about 7 minutes.
- On a medium heat, add the cream, mustard and nutmeg. Stir through and then check for seasoning. You may find that you don’t have to add any salt and pepper as the mustard can be salty as well as the stock.
- You can either add the bacon to the soup, or as I like to do sprinkle a little over each serving with some spring onion or chives.
Tips and Variations
- You may have noticed that there are a couple of ingredients that are not authentic in this recipe, the English mustard is of course one of those. I like to use it as it gives an extra depth as well as colour. Nutmeg is also my own personal addition. I think it works well in this roux/cream soup it also adds a little to the depth of flavour.
- I would always recommend good quality stock to make soups as this is will affect the flavour greatly. Try and go to your butcher for this or some supermarkets do nice ones too. The stock cube tends to just be a little bomb of salt and trans fat.
- This soup is nice served with some rye bread, perhaps with some Dutch mature Gouda (only if you can get the real stuff though), if not, I like Emmentaler with some fresh tomato.
Karen Vivers, originally from Scotland, has lived here in Amsterdam since 1997, and has set up the Cooking Coach to help inspire people to get back into the kitchen. The basis of the cooking lessons are easy, tasty, healthy recipes. Each course starts with a free introduction session, to make sure that you only cook what you like to eat.
As well as cooking lessons, Karen offers Culinary Tasting Tours in Amsterdam, is a passionate food blogger, writer, author of “Love Food, Live Healthy” and works freelance as a Business Consultant, specialising in small and medium food businesses, helping them get started, grow and deal with commercial challenges.
Love Food, Live Healthy is ideal for those of us who really enjoy our food, but want to eat consciously without compromising on flavour. Packed with over 100 recipes, this book has lots of practical cooking and healthy eating tips. Designed for cooks of all skill levels, whether you love cooking or just love eating!
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