I’m mostly Swedish. I did my 23 and me and it came back with what I expected pretty much. Except that Norwegian part! But because of my heritage, I wanted to learn some classic Swedish recipes that weren’t “Swedish Meatballs”. Scouring the internet, I stumbled upon this soup from SwedishFood.com, which calls for ham hocks & chicken stock. So I set out to put my vegan touches on it.
These photos are bittersweet because it’s the last recipe I made for The Devil Wears Parsley at our old home in California. LOOK AT THE BLACK, WILL YOU? It’s fabulous.
I’ll come out and say it out of the gates – I don’t claim this to be true to the original, classic Ärtsoppa recipe at all. I love to put my own spin on things, and veganize it to boot. The onions, peas, and spices haven’t changed. Obviously I omitted things like the ham hock which is present in the original, and swapped out the chicken stock for vegetable stock. I added the carrots for a little more depth of flavor and and fresh component to the soup. The spices stayed the same, and to my surprise, worked incredibly well together. I would never have thought to put marjoram and clove together in a soup, but man. What a combo!
After sweating the onions and carrots, add the spices, split peas, and stock. Easy soups generally start like that; with the sweat of an onion, followed by other veggies, maybe a plant protein. Then, it’s all about the classic soup technique: Bring everything to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes, or until the split peas (or any other un-cooked/hard things) are soft. If you’re adding any greens, do it at the end. Have you had a soup that has spinach or kale in it? The greens are so so good. It’s like a hot salad, extremely nutritious, and can be* low in fat.
To Blend Or Not To Blend
Ahhhh the soup blend. Sometimes I love a blended soup, and sometimes you can’t do it because let’s face it – you want the chunky potato and vegan sausage in WHOLE form. Then the leafy greens. That’s fair. But with this soup, everything is so uniform, and able to be blended together well, so why not? You can do this in batches if you like, because the soup is so hot. If the blender carafe is too full, you run the risk of blowout and severe burn injury. I like to put the lid on the carafe, top with a clean, dry towel folded multiple times, and let her rip. That layer of protection that the towel provides is – necessary. We just blend 2/3 of the soup, so we have some chunky bits at the end of all this.
Service is simple – just spoon into bowls, top with mustard and dill, and have some yummy bread on the side with butter. Don’t toast it, just simple buttered bread for this. Maybe some lingonberry preserves if you have it, to sweeten things up, but not necessary. Now you can revel in the flavors of the Swedes! Happy Eating!
Ärtsoppa – Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup
A Swedish soup traditionally served on Thursdays to prepare for the Christian fast on Friday.
- 1 1/2 Cups Yellow Split Peas , Soaked 4 hours or overnight
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil , Extra Virgin
- 2 Cups Onion , diced
- 2 Cups Carrot , diced
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Pinch Ground Clove
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Marjoram
- 6 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill + more for garnish
- 1/4 Cup Grainy Brown Mustard
Soak the split peas for 4 hours or overnight.
Heat a large pot over medium heat, and add in the olive oil. When the pan is heated, add the onion, and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until translucent. Add in the carrots and saute for another 5-7 minutes until tender.
Add in salt, clove, thyme, and marjoram, cooking for 1 minute to let the spices bloom. Mix in the vegetable stock, and turn the heat of the pot up to high. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add 3/4 of the soup to a blender. You can do this in batches if you'd like to be more on the cautious side. Using a towel on top of the blender lid, carefully blend until velvety smooth. Be careful, the soup will be extremely hot.
Return the blended soup to the pot with the remaining, un-blended soup, and mix in the fresh dill. Divide among 6 bowls, top with mustard, and remaining dill as a garnish. Serve immediately with buttered bread and extra mustard on the side.