Dutch Language Blog

Dutch Food: What is hutspot? Posted by on Apr 23, 2010 in Dutch Language

I personally hate the winter: the cold, the countless layers of clothing, the cold, the pale and kranky people, the snow which prevents you from riding your bike normally and again, the cold! But I have to admit there is one good thing about the winter and it’s called hutspot.

Hutspot is made out of potatoes, onions and carrots smashed and mixed together. Many of my foreign friends raise an eyebrow when I talk in ecstasy about this typical cold-weather-meal, but really, it’s delicious in its simplicity. But the invention of this meal was not created by a brilliant mind.

The history of hutspot is found in 1574.  Spanish troops were forced to confiscate the city Leiden after de Geuzenvloot  (with enemies of the Spanish) was on its way and the Prince of Orange pierced through the dikes. The troops were aware of the danger and didn’t know how fast to leave the city and left everything behind.  The food they left behind were parsnips, smashed carrots and onions, hutspot, which the starving people of Leiden ate with great joy. In the ongoing years the parsnips got replaced by potatoes and were often eaten with a smoked sausage. A lot of Dutch people still eat this traditional meal on the third of October to celebrate the day the Spanish Leiden.

For those who want to try: a recipe:


–          1 kg big carrots (winterpeen)

–          1 kg potatoes

–          500 grams onions

–          1 cube cow bouillon (runder bouillon)

–          Smoked sausage

–          Pepper

–          Salt


Boil the potatoes 15-20 minutes. In the meantime cut the onions in pieces and the carrots in slices. Boil the carrots together with the onions and the cube of bouillon for about 20 minutes. Strain off the vegetables and the potatoes and put them together in a pan and smash them together. Heat up the sausage and add pepper and salt to the hutspot as desired. The sausage can be served separate or mixed through the hutspot in pieces.

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  1. Peter Simon:

    A really interesting piece of history indeed behind a simple meal that gained national stature. Thanks. A few observations, though. The ingredients are not smashed, but mashed at all spots in the post. Smashing things would mean breaking some tough thing into pieces with violent force – the potatoes and carrots are never that tough at all – my windows or bottles are. The other thing is that the Spanish must have been forced to evacuate, not confiscate the city of Leiden – confiscation is quite the opposite and you do it to sb’s legal property, not to a whole town. The end of the story (to celebrate the day the Spanis Leiden) is unfinished without a verb, perhaps meaning the Spanish fled Leiden. Though in Dutch and with small-letter ‘leiden’, it would mean the day the Spanish are dying, or die. Was that your intention? Would be interesting.

  2. Jan Daniels:

    Oh smashing is more fun than mashing! I was looking forward to making a huge mess of my kitchen with bits of carrot and potato everywhere! Ha Ha. I think I’ll have some fun and smash them anyway!

  3. Jeremy:

    My wife makes stamppot pretty often when we have some extra veggies or mushrooms around, sounds a lot like hutspot. She’s from Limburg.

  4. noortje:

    Jeremy, that is probably the same! You can always make your own version, of course 🙂
    And Jan, haha, smashing, mashing, as long as its fun and tasty 😉

  5. Peter Simon:

    Yeah, you’re right – let’s smash a few pots into the hutspot ;););););)

  6. Georgia Vallejos:

    So have you ever put it in a food prcessor or whipped it with an electric beater? Or a stick blender? I have had this at my little friend’s house when I was a kid, but it was the consistency of mashed potatoes. You could see the bits of carrot in it, though.