This is a wonderful warming winter soup traditionally made from dried yellow peas and served on Thursdays in Sweden. Try a dab of grainy brown mustard on top of each serving to enhance both the presentation and the flavor.
Dried Pea Soup (Ärtsoppa, in Swedish)
1 lb. dried yellow or green peas (whole if you can get them, but split ones work just as well)
8 cups water
2 finely chopped onions (2 cups)
1 peeled whole onion studded with 2 cloves
1 meaty ham bone -or- 2 to 3 ham hocks
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. grainy brown mustard
1 large carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in 1" pieces
1 pound Danish Canadian-style bacon (pork loin) or Canadian bacon
Rinse and pick through 1 lb. dried yellow or green peas. If using whole peas, soak the peas overnight in their soup water (this isn’t necessary if using split peas so long as you can let the soup simmer for 2 to 3 hours).
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, 2 finely chopped onions, 1 peeled whole onion studded with two whole cloves, and a meaty ham bone (-or- 2 to 3 ham hocks).
Bring to a boil, then cover pot and reduce to a simmer over low heat for 90 minutes.
Add celeriac or celery, potatoes, diced carrots and Canadian bacon to soup during last 45 minutes of cooking time. Stir soup occasionally and check for desired consistency; if necessary, add a little hot water. 30 minutes before serving, remove the studded onion and the meat. Chop the meat (it should amount to about 1 cup) and return to pot. Season the soup with 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Simmer 15 more minutes.
Serve, passing around grainy brown mustard to stir into soup to taste.