Pea Soup and Pancakes in Sarasota

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                                                                                       Courtesy Allt om Mat

Traditional Swedish pea soup made of dried yellow peas and bacon is sooo good, add Swedish thin pancakes with whipped cream and lingonsylt and you have a heavenly meal of the best Swedish comfort food. The Swedish Club of Sarasota is hosting a Peasoup and Pancake event on March 7 at 3 pm in the St Armands Key Lutheran Church, Sarasota. I will take my family for a drive to beautiful Sarasota and enjoy pea soup in the company of the nice and friendly Swedes of Sarasota!  

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Now, pea soup is an ancient Swedish dish made of dried yellow peas and salted pork. Pea soup has been served in Sweden for as long as anyone can remember. Traditionally pea soup and pancakes are served on Thursdays. The serving of pea soup on Thursdays go back to Catholic times in Sweden, before the 16th century. Pea soup was the perfect filler before the faste on Fridays.

The most famous bowl of pea soup was spiced with arsenic and served to king Eric XIV by his brother Johan. Eric XIV died after having finished his pea soup. In the 1950s when the remains of Eric XIV was exhumated and examined a large amount of arsenic was found in his sceleton.

Well, I guess I cannot wait until March 7 for my pea soup fix. I think I will pop by IKEA on Friday on my way to the SBTA lunch and pick up some dried yellow peas. I have not found them elsewhere, yet.
I will teach my kids how to make a good pea soup from scratch (without arsenic though)

The recipe I will use is from Allt om Mat,  In opinion the authority on classic Swedish cooking. Their recipe is called Försvarets Ärtsoppa.

Försvarets Ärtsoppa - The Armed Forces Pea Soup

600 g gula, torkade ärter - 600 g yellow, dried peas
2 l vatten - 2 liters of water
500 g rimmat fläsk, i tärningar - 500 g salted pork, diced
1 st gul lök medelstor hackad - 1 big, yellow onion, chopped
1 st grönsaksbuljontärning - 1 cube of vegetable bouillon
1 tsk salt  - 1 tsp salt
1 tsk timjan - 1 tsp thyme
1 tsk mejram - 1 tsp marjoram
0,5 tsk ingefära - 0.5 tsp ginger  

1. Blötlägg ärterna i vatten. Låt stå ca 12 timmar. Häll bort vattnet. - Soak the peas for 12 hours. Drain the peas from the water.
2. Häll ärter, vatten, fläsk, lök, salt och buljongtärning i en stor kastrull. Låt koka utan lock ca 1 timme tills ärterna är mjuka.- Put peas, water, pork, onions, salt and bouillon in a large pot and boil for one hour.  
3. Smaksätt med salt, timjan, mejram och ingefära. Späd med vatten vid behov. - Spice with salt, thyme, marjoram and ginger.

I like my pea soup to be quite thick but if you get the soup to thick for your taste you can add some water to make it thinner after it has boiled for an hour.


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