Ärtsoppa - Swedish Pea Soup
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)
- Soak the peas for at least 2 hours (or overnight) and drain.
- 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.
- Add the onion, ham hocks and carrots.
- Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for about an hour or until the peas are soft.
- Once the peas are soft, remove any more skins that have floated up to the surface of the soup.
- 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.
- Remove the ham hocks from the soup, separate the meat from the bone, chop it up and return it to the pot.
- Season the soup with thyme, marjoram and salt and pepper to taste, leave to simmer for 30 minutes more.
- 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.