Ärtsoppa - Swedish Pea Soup
Level: Easy
Cuisine: Swedish
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This traditional soup makes for a warming meal during cold Swedish winters. Often eaten with knäckebröd (crisp bread) and followed by a plate of pannkakor, it's typical to find ärtsoppa served on Thursdays and offered on mid-day menus across Sweden.
  • 1 lb. dried yellow peas (preferably whole, but split will work too)
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small or ½ of a large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 or 3 ham hocks (optional)
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tsp. marjoram
  • salt and peppar to taste
  • grainy brown mustard (to garnish)
  1. Soak the peas for at least 2 hours (or overnight) and drain.
  2. Put the peas in large pot, add the broth, bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, removing any skins that may come off of the peas and float to the surface of the broth.
  3. Add the onion, ham hocks and carrots.
  4. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for about an hour or until the peas are soft.
  5. Once the peas are soft, remove any more skins that have floated up to the surface of the soup.
  6. If you would like to thicken the soup, remove a couple of cups of peas and puree them, then return to the pot and mix in well.
  7. Remove the ham hocks from the soup, separate the meat from the bone, chop it up and return it to the pot.
  8. Season the soup with thyme, marjoram and salt and pepper to taste, leave to simmer for 30 minutes more.
  9. Serve hot with knäckebröd and grainy brown mustard for each person to mix in according taste.
If the soup is getting too thick, you can add a bit of water to thin it out towards the end of cooking. This soup will keep well in the freezer and is just as good re-heated, so if there is extra, you can freeze it until you are ready to have more.