Cooking Classes


Dried Yellow Pea Soup

One day last fall during harvest season my back door neighbour had a 5 gallon pail of freshly harvested dried peas.  "Would you like some?"  he asked.  Never one to turn down food, especially local food, I accepted a coffee can filled with the dried yellow peas fresh from the field.

This recipe can be made either with the whole yellow peas or split peas.  If you have never cooked with whole peas then you must know that all the skins come off the peas as they cook.  All these little skins should be skimmed off the surface of the soup as they appear.

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.

If using whole peas, skim off any pea skins that have risen to the surface. 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).
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.


  1. We love pea soup:) I usually make it after Easter..w/ a big ham bone:)
    Amazing how every recipe is so different:)

  2. I've never used anything but green split peas, Sarah, but my parents loved pea soup so I made it a lot.
    Would love to try this with yellow peas and especially like your adding the thyme and ginger, which I've never done.
    It looks delicious!

  3. Celeriac is brilliant in soups.. especially winter soups. I think it is so cool to get local beans... they are a lot of work so I never planted them... all that shelling!!! Gorgeous soup, Sarah... love the mustard addition too.

  4. Looks delicious and I love the addition of ginger too. Coincidentally I've got some Habitant Yellow Pea soup on the menu for this week at some point.


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