Meatloaf & Dutch Soup from a Dutch Artist

September 29th, 2010 / Comments 6

When I was twenty-four, I met Julian. She was an enthusiastic artist from Holland who bragged about all things Dutch.

two tree c egbert1 Meatloaf & Dutch Soup from a Dutch Artist

I was intrigued, I had never been to Europe, I was living on my own, in my first apartment, hoping to become a sophisticated cook able to make elegant food. She talked about and promised Dutch Soup at every opportunity.

When she finally invited me to dinner, I was shocked. Rather than being served Dutch Soup, she served meatloaf – Meatloaf! She called it DUTCH MEATLOAF – but it was meatloaf. It was tasty and filled with lots of vegetables and unexpected spice but it wasn’t the international delicacy I was hoping for. She shared her recipe and promised that one day she would make Dutch Soup for me.

Julian was a creative and energetic artist and cook. Her pantry was her palette and each meatloaf was an original. It might be an all beef meatloaf, or it might include sausage, ground veal, pork or chicken. Day old bread, crushed crackers or rolled oats might be substituted for breadcrumbs. Once she added grated raw potatoes instead of carrots to the mix and occasionally she slathered the meatloaf with that classic Dutch condiment, Heinz catsup.

I realized that, at least to Julian, everything that was labeled Heinz was Dutch when months after the meatloaf party she relented and invited a group of friends to dinner for Dutch Soup. When we arrived, she opened a couple of bottles of wine, not Dutch, and set out some cheese, Dutch, and crackers, origin unknown, and disappeared into her kitchen. She insisted on privacy in the kitchen while she cooked. In about fifteen minutes, we were called to the table and she proudly served the Dutch soup. It was thick, brownish-greenish-red and had lumps. It was steamy hot and tasted terrible. I had managed to swallow a few spoonfuls and politely asked if she would share the recipe. She was pleased, delighted to be asked and generously explained how to make this Dutch classic.

I will share her recipe with you but only if you promise not to invite me to dinner when you make it or tell anyone where you got the recipe. Here’s how she made it: Into a large pot, it need not be a Dutch oven, dump one can of Heinz Tomato soup, one can of Heinz Split Pea soup, one can of milk, half a can of water, half a can of dry sherry, two cans of cocktail sausages and one large can of vegetables, peas, corn or tomatoes will do. Heat until steaming, serve and try to figure out why she called it Dutch Soup. I never have – figured out its name or made it.

I used Julian’s recipe last Saturday as the centerpiece of a cozy, traditional American supper for two. Here’s how I did it:

Meat Loaf a la Julian

I put one pound of ground chuck and one twenty-ounce package of ground turkey in a large mixing bowl and added half a cup of coarsely grated carrot, one large, minced garlic clove, one large onion, cut in quarter inch dice, one medium red pepper, diced, one medium green pepper, diced, half a cup of loosely packed, chopped parsley, one and a half cups of bread crumbs, half a teaspoon of thyme and one tablespoon of dried dill leaves.

I dissolved one beef bouillon cube in half a cup of hot water and added one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, one teaspoon of dried ginger, one tablespoon of grainy mustard, one beaten egg, a quarter of a teaspoon of kosher salt and half a teaspoon of black pepper.

After I had combined the meat, vegetables and seasonings, I formed the mixture into two loaves. I wrapped one in foil and put it into the freezer to be cooked another day. I put the other loaf into the oven that had been preheated to 350º.

In order to be certain that the turkey was cooked, I used an instant read thermometer and declared it ready fifty minutes later, when the internal temperature was 160º.  I cut the meatloaf into thick slices after it had rested under a tent of foil for ten minutes. The high proportion of vegetables in this recipe makes slicing a challenge. Although each serving was more a pile than a slice, Charles and I enjoyed our classic American supper while we watched A Streetcar Named Desire, another American classic.

Julian was a creative and energetic artist and cook. Her pantry was her palette and each meatloaf was an original. It might be an all beef meatloaf, or it might include sausage, ground veal, pork or chicken. Day old bread, crushed crackers or rolled oats might be substituted for breadcrumbs. Once she added grated raw potatoes instead of carrots to the mix and occasionally she slathered the meatloaf with that classic Dutch condiment, Heinz catsup.

Meatloaf List

  • Ground Beef
  • Ground Turkey
  • Carrot
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Red Pepper
  • Green Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Thyme
  • Dried Dill Leaves
  • Beef Bouillon
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dried Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Egg
  • Kosher Salt  & Black Pepper
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