Stoemp (pronounced “stoomp) is a hearty Belgian side dish which is essentially a combination of mashed potatoes and other mashed vegetables. Similar to other potato dishes around the world, stoemp was created around the time of World War II, when food was being rationed. Fresh meat was difficult to find and people needed to consume plentiful and inexpensive foods that would provide them with energy. They also sought out foods that were versatile and would allow for leftovers. The potato certainly met these criteria. Along with other readily available vegetables (e.g., carrots, leeks, garlic), a hearty and simple dish was created and named stoemp, popular in both Belgium and the Netherlands. While this recipe includes some of my favorite flavors, bear in mind that you can include any of your favorite vegetables in stoemp. Stoemp is usually served alongside blood sausage or strips of bacon. I like to treat stoemp like mashed potatoes, serving them alongside any tasty protein (e.g., pork loin, chicken, steak).
2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into two inch pieces
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
5 green onions (white and pale parts only), coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Place potatoes in a saucepan and fill with cold water until all potatoes are covered by at least one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, until fork tender (15-20 minutes). Drain and return to the saucepan.
While the potatoes are simmering, place carrots in a saucepan with salted water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender (approximately 5 minutes).
Place green onions, garlic, olive oil, and butter in a small skillet. Over moderately low heat, cook the onions and garlic until they are tender (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the cream, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Simmer for two minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the onion and garlic mixture to the potatoes and mash well. Mix in the carrots and mash a little more until well combined. The carrots should not be completely mashed.
You may top the stoemp with parmesan cheese shavings and parsley, if desired.
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