It’s #bakingfriday! Today: bean soup from the Netherlands

During this quarantine we are launching a new social media campaign called #isolationbaking. Today is #bakingfriday (one day ahead because tomorrow is Good Friday).

Today’s recipe from our archives is another one from a Dutch cookbook from 1796, guarded at the Nationaal Archief in The Hague (Netherlands).

The cookbook goes by the title ‘tot smullen uitgedagh‘, which roughly translates to ‘challenged to feast’. The cookbook was written by Maarten baron van der Goes van Dirxland. He was a Dutch politician who served as government minister. His son Louis Napoleon van der Goes van Dirxland was also a minister in the Netherlands.

According to the cookbook, the recipes have an international touch. Maarten wrote on the title page that his book was born in Holland and then received further “education” in Germany, Denmark, England, Spain and France.

Maartje van de Kamp (National Archives) has cooked two recipes from the cookbook. Both are published on the personal blog of Maartje van de Kamp: Archive Chef. We are sharing with you an adaptation of a recipe for a “bean soup for greasy times”, a light meal to get us ready for Easter.

500 grams of dry white beans
2 large onions
1 leek
5 celery sticks
Huge hand of parsley
4 cloves

Rinse the white beans under the tap and soak them in plenty of water overnight.
Peel the onions and put the cloves in them. Cut the leeks and celery into large pieces and wash them.
Put everything together in the pan, add a liter of water, bring to a boil and let it boil for about two hours.
After cooking, pour the soup through a sieve and drain the beans and vegetables. Don’t do this for too long, according to Maarten. We go for a clear broth, not a thick puree soup.
Meanwhile, cut the bread into strips and put a frying pan on the stove with a large piece of butter and a little flour. Bake the bread strips in it.
Put the bread in a soup plate and spoon the stock over it.

Many thanks to Maartje van de Kemp for adjusting the original recipe to a modern recipe. For more information: see her blog Archive Chef (

You can find the complete original cookbook, digitized by the National Archives, on Archives Portal Europe:

Happy cooking!

Picture: courtesy of Maartje van de Kamp. Source:

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