Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup (Ärtsoppa)

28 Feb

artsoppaThis is an immensely gratifying, warming soup traditionally made from dried yellow peas and served on Thursdays in Sweden.


  • 500g dried yellow split peas
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 finely chopped onions (2 cups)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt & Pepper


Rinse the dried yellow split peas.

Fill a large pot with 8 cups of water (or 6 if you like a thicker soup. You can always thin it with water as you go along if it looks too dense). Add the peas, the chicken stock cube (crumbled), the thyme and the chopped onions.

Bring to a boil, then cover pot and reduce to a simmer over low heat for 90 minutes.

Remove 2 to 3 cups of the soup, puree in a blender or food processor, and return puree to the pot (this helps to thicken the soup).

Continue to simmer for at least 30 more minutes; another hour or more won’t hurt it. Season to taste.

Serve, passing around grainy brown mustard to stir into soup to taste.

Option: This is very often served with cubed ham hock pieces to add a bit of meat to it. I sometimes use streaky bacon or pancetta crumbs. Fry the bacon/pancetta pieces until crispy, dry off on a piece of kitchen roll and crumble to small pieces. Sprinkle over soup just before serving.


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