I grew up next to the Koffman family - we were totally Afrikaans, they were totally Dutch - only a few years in South Africa. Their daughter J and I were one year apart in school - we walked to school together and later rode our bikes. We spent afternoon by afternoon in each other's homes - doing homework together, playing together. The families was a sort of support system for each other with her spending many afternoons eating lunch at our place that my granny cooked - stews, boerewors, pancake, pumkin fritters - all those honest to goodness boerekos. In return I spent may evenings and Saturdays at their home, eating Dutch food - wonderful stuff like bolletjies en muis, poffertjies (like vetkoek with fruit in and sugar around), friet, Nasi goreng and many more delicacies. Oupa regularly made his klapperkoekjes - a recipe my mom still makes today. I also experienced the deliciousness of prawns with them, out to dinner on Friday nights at the Greek easy. It was good good times. Incredible how food plays such a huge part in the memories we keep.I remember their kitchen with the little pine table and chairs, filled with steam and wonderful treats. Well, my mom still sees Tannie Rita every Friday as she is still her hairdresser after all the years although J now lives in Nieu Zeeland and we basically have a Facebook friendship.A few weeks ago I asked for that very best of Dutch food memories - Dutch Chicken soup. I made it on the Friday of the long weekend and my family devoured it, including my boys who are not the biggest soup eaters.It is a wonderful rich and substantial soup and although Spring is just around the corner, the evenings are still cold enough and we will have another big cold front.
Dutch chicken soup
(I make this in my wonderful high pressure cooker -my favorite kitchen appliance at the moment- and the recipe is for a traditional pressure cooker - but she tells me if you want to do it on the stove top, you ave to add one more cup of water and stir a lot and regularly cook for a very long time)
5 Stems of celery
A hand full of fresh parsley
One whole chicken in pieces - remove the small bones from the wings and the breast section. Keep everything else.
1 packet of cream of chicken soup mixed with twice the amount of water the packet shows
1 tin of creamed mushrooms
Spaghetti of vermicelli to taste.
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
Cut the celery in pieces, chop the parsley
Add to the pressure cooker with the chicken and the soup and water.
Cook for about 60 minutes in the pressure cooker until the chicken totally falls off the bones. Remove bones but keep skin in.
Add spaghetti or vermicelli to taste (the more you add the thicker the soup will taste), vinegar and the tin of mushrooms.
Cook on high pressure for another 30 minutes.
Remove all other bones.
Serve hot with fresh bread.
You can make this with about 6 - 8 skinless and boneless chicken breasts but I promise you it does not taste the same. The skin and bones add a richness and thickness (due to the gelatin in the bones) to the soup that you simply do not get with the low fat version.
Enjoy - and do tell me if you try this.
I would love to hear some of your childhood food memories