Being Dutch – Part 9: Soepie!

Another cute thing I noticed about Dutch people recently: they love soup. Erwtensoep (pea soup with smoked sausage) is a firm favourite and one of their most “traditional” (winter) dishes. And when do you serve soup? In England you eat a bowl at home on a cold winter’s night, as a quick dinner if you’re short on time (shove it in the microwave) and if you’re feeling ill… Heinz chicken soup is a must.

When do Dutch people serve soup? At parties! I kid you not. As if Dutch birthday parties weren’t weird enough already (start and finish times, cake on ARRIVAL, compulsory circular seating plan) then they go and serve soup!

Where’s the cheese and pineapple… the sausage rolls… the cucumber sandwiches? (Ok, English people are strange too…) But you’ve got to admit that our “finger food” is better suited to parties. Bite-sized pieces, nothing wet, nothing spillable, nothing requiring cutlery. How do you eat SOUP whilst holding a drink and a conversation at the same time??

Ok, ok, they don’t just eat it at parties. They also eat it at home. (But the party thing is still weird.)

According to The Dutch Table: “A traditional meal will start with a soup, continue with a main course and finish with a sweet dessert such as yoghurt, pudding or vla.”

They love soup so much that they affectionately call it “soepie!”

I asked the Dutchie why it wasn’t just “soepje” (Dutch people love making things small by adding -je, -pje or -tje onto the end of words) and apparently soepje is perfectly correct… But there was a 90’s advert by Unox in which the catchphrase is “soepie!”

I had to find it of course… so here is is!!

This makes me smile. A lot.

Hayley x


  1. Hi! I’ve been following your blog for a while. I too am a British expat, living in Hilversum. Been here almost 2 years now, but my Dutch is almost non existant. I blame the Dutch for that, because if they didn’t speak such good English, I’d have to learn and speak their lingo! I just had to comment on this post, as although I barely speak any Dutch, you still can’t help picking up certain mannerisms….and adding ‘ie’ or ‘je’ onto the end of most words is one of mine! Not just my limited Dutch either, I’m even doing it in English! Dutchies have a lot to answer for at times! lol


    1. LOL Charlotte. Living here for 2 years certainly must have made you learn that Dutchies are very polite (allthough we say fuck more than a hundred times a day and never apologize for suddenly walking of to take a piss) We speak in your language, cause we do not want you to feel left out. If you simply state to your Dutch friends to stop doing that in order for you to learn Dutch, you’ll find out we will apologize for our behaviour and speak Dutch in your presence and even explain words and phrases constantly during a conversation.

      It takes some effort on your behalf as well 😉 Nothing more a Dutchy dislikes than a foreignor that shows no interest in learning our language but does like to live here.
      Quite contradictional to the above statement, I know. We’re an odd bunch (which I’m starting to get more and more aware of due to this awesome blog)

      Maar je komt er wel :p

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Charlotte, thanks for the comment! I’ve just started lessons at a local college and I must say, it’s great! (And a little bit scary!) The Dutch are amazing linguists indeed, so if you live here you don’t HAVE to learn, but I want to 🙂 That’s so funny that you’re picking up their mannerisms, even in English! Have you accidentally done the Dutch two-tone sigh yet?


    1. LOL I’m assuming you mean the overly absurd in and out breathing with a slightly (almost unheard) growl in it? It means we’re bored, annoyed, feel understood, feel aggitated, find you irritating (I can go on)

      It’s a very unpolite (even for us Dutchies amongst ourselves) manor to express our feelings to a certain person or situation. You can observe someone doing this whilst others are in conversation. An obvious statement the subject of expressing the 2-tone sigh, has an opinion about the conversation (or one of those taking part in it) and it’s DEFINATELY not positive.

      It’s an absolute rude way of expressing these kind of feelings. Yet: we all do it! Mostly cause we don’t want to waste energy in any discussion and hope the 2-tone sigh is a clear signal to change the subject (or even try to make a certain person leave the party)

      We’re polite in an oddly rude manor :-p


  3. Serving soup at a circle party is something I’ve yet to encounter! I did have a funny experience at a sort of farmer party in Noord-Holland last year though … There were two soups: erwtensoep with the sausage, and then ‘vegetarian soup’ … soup with tiny diced vegetables with meatballs. I’m a vegetarian and tried to explain the problem to the woman serving me but gave up because there was just no understanding!


    1. sounds to me as vegetable soup grandma style! or oma’s groentesoep met balletjes. Somebody probably translated it wrong to vegetarian instead of vegetable

      Liked by 1 person

  4. in the eastern part of holland we usually only have finger food (which we call “hapjes”, literally translatable as bites)! plates with cheese, stuffed eggs (gevulde eieren), rolls of ham with pickles, slices of “leverworst”, asparagus with “rookvlees”, pickled unions with mini “knackworst” (party knacks!), never eaten soup at a party to be honest.. usually it’s cake with coffee/tea, and then plates stuffed with hapjes, followed by potato chips and soda and in the evening wine and bear and sometimes “kruidenbitter”

    when the party is slightly bigger there will be a buffet prepared which besides these hapjes also includes salads, bread and sauces and warm hapjes!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’m from eastern Netherlands and we usually also serve crackers/melba toast and/or stokbrood (stickbread or simply a french pain) to which you can add to your own taste: salads (egg-, tuna-, kipkerrie-salad, filet americain), cheese (brie, Danish blue) or fresh fish (smoked salmon, paling). After which you’ll get soup (depending on season it’ll be tomato / vegetable soup or erwtensoep).

        The end time for a party is usually there because the host doesn’t want to cook supper for everybody and that is perfectly acceptable. The party often turns into a feast anyway because if it’s very gezellig then everybody will just go out and get friet (chips and deepfried snacks) or chinese food (seldom pizza). That way the host doesn’t have to cook but the party can go on. It’s usually reserved for close relatives though, only when a lot of people have left the party the idea to go get take away food is mentioned and often adopted. The people who leave before the end time are usually distant relatives or friends anyway.

        I only now realise how weird this must be actually…funny! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hmm, I am a Dutchie, and I must say, I never had soup at a party, unless the party included an actual dinner (buffet).
    The circular seating I hate tho. How does one break that habit? How do you do it, do you make people stand the entire time?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your Blog! My Mum was English , met a dutchie during the war, and moved to Holland where my sister and I were born. We still speak Dutch, eat Harring raw, celebrate Sinterklaas with our grand children, and eat Hagelslaag on toast as comfort food.
    My mum learned to speak Dutcuh fluently, after many trials and errors.
    When my fathers appendix burst in Holland, she called his. Office and told them his uterus had burst. She also commented to a funny story, (which she didn’t understand) by telling the president of dad’s firm “you’re pushing me in the piss”. Mom was learning the language from Dad and his sailor brothers!!!
    We immigrated to the US, and all speak English fluently. Mom and Dad are long gone, however sister and I made a pact to retain our Dutch heritage. I can speak and read Dutch fluently, however my writing skills are not so good. You are helping me with that!!!
    I love your blog and look forward to more!! I am not an ex pat, as I still retain my Nederlandse citizenship. Never became a Yank!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Haley,

    I just found your blog today through Facebook at the same time as my father-in-law, and we’ve already been sharing your coolest posts. I’ve read a bunch and I love it!

    My name is Joost and I am 6’7″, so I am as Dutch as they come, but you have me smiling at a lot of our weird Dutch stuff. As a Dutchman, for example, even I cannot grasp the way we handle birthday parties, with the start and finish times, and the annoying fixed circular seating. (what if you arrive at the wrong time, and you sit beside someone very boring, *gasp*)

    Anyway, as someone who’s Dutch and a bit of an Anglophile, your perspective and your funny writing style is just the ticket for me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Hayley
        Cool! Cannot wait!!

        Btw, if you like beautiful walks in nature, I can suggest the Soesterduinen. Gorgeous. Just discovered them last week


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