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.


  1. I am originally from Sweden (line in the US now)and I LOVE ärtsoppa! I was looking for a recipe for my slow cooker and found yours, thanks for posting it!

  2. I am able to obtain whole yellow peas at my grocery story (Schnucks's)and a local Swedish restaurant. (Probably helps that many Swedish immigrants came here years ago.) Ordinarily one is supposed to sort and rinse the yellow peas and then soak overnight in water. Do you skip the soaking period when using a slow cooker?

  3. I'm jealous! I even went to an event at the American Swedish Museum in Philadelphia (where they were selling Swedish foods) and they didn't have them! At any rate, no, you don't have to soak them when using the slow cooker. They should cook up just fine. Enjoy!

  4. I live in Rockford, IL, about 90 miles NW of Chicago. Not only are these peas available here (Stockholm Inn Restaurant and Schnuck's grocery stores in their ethnic aisle, but I believe you could find them in the Andersonville area of Chicago. And undoubtedly somewhere in Minneapolis–I've visited the Swedish-American Institute there. And I bet there's a place in the Seattle area, too.

  5. Next time I am in the midwest I will have to look for them. There isn't much of Swedish presence here in the Mid-Atlantic. Thanks for the tips, I'm writing doen the name of that store.

  6. I live in Rockford, Illinois and the Stockholm Inn Restaurant does make the best yellow split pea soup. Some restaurants give out their recipes but am not sure if they do. The only place I could find dried split peas is the Valli Produce Grocery Store where they sell it in packages of per pound weight quantities.