December 02, 2011

Ärtsoppa (Swedish Yellow Pea Soup)

16 oz whole or split yellow peas*
1 onion, chopped
4 strips thick cut bacon, cooked and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
6 cups ham or chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
white pepper
sea salt
grainy hot mustard

Place the peas, stock, onion and spices/herbs. in a 4 quart slow cooker. Cook on low 10-12 hrs or on high 6-8. Stir in the bacon. Cook for 15-30 additional minutes. Serve in bowls with a dollop of (Swedish) hot mustard ready for dipping or swirling.

*Whole yellow peas is more traditional but more difficult to locate. If you use split peas the soup will taste the same but be a bit thicker.

My thoughts:
I've been reading a lot about Swedish food lately and the pea soup that seems to be nationally consumed on Thursdays called to me. It has been unseasonably warm (and I am not complaining, this time last year we went to the Caribbean for two weeks to escape the cold) but it is slowly returning to the normal temperature for this time of year making it time for soup. Traditionally, I think the soup is made with salt pork but I made do with thick, thick chunks of bacon instead. It is easier to find and I think just as (or more) tasty.