One of the most popular traditional Dutch meals is hutspot, known in English as hotchpotch. And a good hutspot recipe is a must-have for expats in the Netherlands.
According to legend, the dish began life as cooked potato bits left behind by the Spanish during their hasty retreat following the siege of Leiden in 1574 during the Eighty Year’s War.
During Nazi occupation during World War Two, hutspot became a symbol of Dutch freedom as all the ingredients, being grown beneath the ground, could be kept from Nazi sight.
Nowadays, this warm mash of vegetables is a great dish for the autumn and winter months. It’s filling, warm, and healthy.
I recently used the following recipe to make hutspot for a friend visiting from the U.S. She, like another pal I’d made the dish for back in the spring, absolutely loved it, calling it “the perfect blend of all the comfort foods.”
My favorite part about this dish is that it’s delightfully simple to make and literally anything can be added to it, from other vegetables to any combination of any spices.
Here’s how it’s made:
If you really want to do it the old-fashioned Dutch way, you’ll need:
- 1 pound potatoes, peeled
- 1 pound carrots, peeled
- 1 onion, chopped
- curry powder
- salt and pepper
- Peel and roughly chop potatoes and carrots, and add to a pot of water. Boil until soft.
- Meanwhile, finely chop an onion and sauté in oil until soft and transparent. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Once the vegetables have finished boiling, drain the pot of water.
- Mash vegetables together, adding butter and milk to make moist and fluffy.
- Season to taste with curry powder, salt and pepper.
- The Dutch pretty much live on a meat and potatoes diet, and hutspot tends to follow that rule. If you’d like to add some meat to your hutspot, you can serve with a worst or smoked sausage on the side; dice and cook slab bacon and mix it through before serving; drizzle each serving with gravy; serve alongside pot roast.
- Equally delicious as a vegetarian dish. Eat alone or add raisins, dried apricots, or chopped/sliced roasted apple.
What’s your favorite drab-weather dish? If you’ve tried hutspot before or given this recipe a go, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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