Makes 4 servings
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Ts vegetable oil
- 25 gr butter
- 25 gr flour
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 250 gr grated ‘old’ cheese like Old Amsterdam
- a handful of flat parsley, chopped
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 1 dl sour cream
- a handful of chives, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a soup pot, lightly brown the chopped onion and garlic in the vegetable oil.
- Add the butter and let it melt
- Add the flour and make a roux
- Stir in the vegetable stock and whisk until it looks like a smooth sauce.
- Add the grated cheese with the chopped parsley and the wine
- Let it heat through for a few minutes and then stir in the sour cream
- Make sure the cheese melts properly and that it doesn’t sink to the bottom
- Taste to see if it needs salt
- Serve the cheese soup with plenty of chopped chives and freshly ground black pepper.
Note 1: We are privileged to have a choice of fantastic cheeses in the Netherlands, most of which are suitable for soup. In older Dutch recipes this soup is just a mixture of cheese and flour, which sits as a brick in your stomach.
Note 2: Dutch cheese is divided in several ‘age groups’, After making most cheeses stay at least four weeks in the warehouse to mature. This occurs at a temperature of 12 to 15 degrees Celsius. The humidity is around 85 percent, so the crust does not dry out too quickly. It is necessary to ripen the cheese to get his own taste. During ripening, the cheeses are regularly turned, so the shape is preserved. The cheese is also cleaned and the cheese is coated with a breathable coating (usually a plastic coating). This coating protects the cheese from contamination and mold. The longer the cheese matures, it becomes drier and spicier. Most Dutch cheeses – such as Gouda, Edam, Leyden and Frisian cheese – at young age the structure is soft and they have a mild taste. Taste and odor develop because the proteins in the cheese are broken and the fat splits. That attracts the salt from the periphery to the heart. The color develops from pale yellow to light brown.
For ages, the following designations are used:
4 weeks – Young cheese [Jong]
8 weeks – Young mature [Jong Belegen]
4 months – Mature [Belegen]
7 months – Extra mature [Extra Belegen]
10 months – Old [Oud]
12 months – Extra Old [Overjarig]
There’s also a cheese which is very young, only 1 to 2 weeks old, known as Meikaas [Cheese of the month of May], and which is only available in May and the first weeks of June.
PDF of this recipe: 20110526_Cheese_Soup
The antique film fragments — apparently from the 1920s and 1930s — include the brand name Old Amsterdam on, among other things, a delivery van, a tram, a cart, and a shop window. That’s interesting, because at that time the brand name did not yet exist.
In fact, as Het Parool — Amsterdam’s daily newspaper — points out, the song heard in the spot is older than the cheese. The commercial was produced in 2004.
The lyrics translate as follows:
You can spend hours there
The parks are green
You can walk along the canals
That’s something you really ought to do
You are free as a bird
Because everything is possible there
In every human heart
You find Amsterdam
The text used in the commercial is cobbled together from phrases in the song Amsterdam, originally written and performed in 1975 — not, as you might imagine, by an Amsterdam native, but by Flemish artist Kris de Bruyne.
And Old Amsterdam cheese… was first tasted in 1985 and has been a winner since!