A dish based on a condiment might prompt a puzzled glance, but this classic Dutch soup, called mosterdsoep (pronounced like it sounds), is very popular in the Netherlands. It’s creamy, slightly smoky, and warming. Saute a shallot, make a roux with flour and stock to thicken the soup, then simmer briefly before whisking in cream and mustard. Traditional Dutch mustard lies somewhere between a smooth French Dijon and a whole-grain mustard, so a combination of the two are used here to achieve the proper consistency. Don’t add salt until just before serving; the soup may not need it as the mustard is already salty. Typically this soup is garnished with parsley and bacon, and is always served with whole-grain bread.
|2||slices thick-cut bacon, cut in ½-inch pieces|
|1||large shallot, finely chopped|
|4||cups chicken stock|
|⅓||cup heavy cream|
|2||tablespoons grainy mustard|
|1||tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|3||tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)|
1. In a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, fry the bacon until just crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.
2. Tip the bacon fat into a heatproof container (use it in another dish) and wipe out the pan. Add the butter to the pan, and when it melts, add the shallot. Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the flour and stir until the shallot is coated all over. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes; do not let it brown.
3. Pour the stock in slowly, whisking constantly, until the stock is absorbed and no lumps remain. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the soup for 8 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. Whisk in the cream and let the mixture heat until you see bubbles at the edge of the pan.
4. Turn off the heat and whisk in the grainy and Dijon mustards until they are thoroughly combined. Taste for seasoning and add more mustard, salt, and pepper, if you like.
5. Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with the bacon and parsley. Serve with whole-grain bread.
Jill Gibson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.