Swedish Yellow Pea Soup

When I was a kid, my mom sometimes made this Swedish yellow pea soup and it was a wonderful comfort food that felt special with the golden-yellow peas.

Swedish Yellow Pea Soup - Close up.png


  • 1 lb (450 g) yellow split peas (about 2.25 cups), sorted and odd bits discarded
  • 8 cups cold water for overnight soaking
  • additional 8 cups water for cooking
  • 1 onion, peeled and studded with 2 cloves
  • 1.2 lbs (550 g) smoked ham hocks
  • additional 2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp)
  • Optional: grainy mustard for serving

How To:

  1. Soak the dried peas in 8 cups cold water overnight (at least 8 hours).
  2. Drain and rinse the peas, discarding any free-floating pea skins. Put the rinsed peas into the crockpot with 8 cups of fresh water, ham hocks, and an onion that has been peeled and studded with 2 cloves.
  3. Simmer until the peas begin to get tender, about 2 hours.
  4. Remove the ham hocks and the clove-studded onion and discard (or save for a different recipe if desired).
  5. Add chopped vegetables and diced ham to the pot. Add thyme, ginger, marjoram, and pepper to the pot.
  6. Let the pot simmer at least 10 minutes. Taste a sample of the soup and add as much salt as tastes good to you (about 1/2 teaspoon, depending on how salty the smoked ham hocks were).
  7. Let the pot continue to simmer until both the vegetables and the peas are nice and tender, about an hour.
  8. Serve on this soup on its own or alongside some meat and grainy brown mustard. Enjoy!

Notes & Tips:

  • Mom likes this soup topped with a little mustard. I prefer mustard with meat served alongside the soup.
  • There are many alternatives to using ham hocks. Here are a two: 1) use 8 cups of ham or chicken stock instead of 8 cups of water for cooking, don't add any meat at the start of cooking, and then add 2 cups of diced ham along with the vegetables; 2) replace the ham hocks with a meaty ham bone or ham shank, then cut the meat off of the bone at step 4 and either dice it to add back to the pot in step 5 or slice it to serve alongside the soup at the end.
  • The best time to carefully skim and remove fat from the soup is at step 3, especially in the first 10 minutes of simmering. This will allow you to remove the grease and any foam before it absorbs much flavor, so you can remove the fat without removing flavor.



Copyright 2017 Amanda Hansen, all rights reserved.