Curry Yellow Pea Soup


I’m one quarter Swedish, but it might be more accurate to say that I’m three-quarters not-Swedish.

Though one set of great-grandparents came directly from the motherland knowing only the language and culture of Sweden, most of what I know about Sweden comes not from family history but – like all good things – from Ikea.

When “The Spinning Plate” decided to do a short series of posts on Scandinavian cuisine, my thoughts first drifted towards lutfisk and ostkaka, two foods that have remained in my family’s lexicon if not in our cookbooks. But both lye soaked fish and milk curd cake seemed too… daunting. So instead, I settled on another Scandinavian standard: ärtsoppa (i.e. pea soup).

Yellow pea soup was historically eaten on Thursdays. In pre-reformation Sweden fasting took place on Fridays, so the Swedes cooked this hearty soup to prepare themselves. Although few practicing Catholics remain in Sweden, Swedes and many other Scandinavians continue to enjoy pea soup.

While traditionally yellow pea soup is made with pork, I opted for a vegetarian alternative using vegetable broth and curry powder for flavor. This soup is quite easy to make, and what could be better for these last days of winter.

– Alan F.

Curry Yellow Pea Soup

yellow pea soup

-2 cups dried yellow peas
-1 cup chopped celery
-1 cup chopped carrots
-½ cup chopped leeks
-½ cup chopped onions
-4-5 cups vegetable broth
-4 tbsp lemon juice
-1/4 tbsp curry powder
-Crème fraîche
-Salt and Pepper

Rinse the in cold water. Simmer peas in 1 ½ quarts of water for thirty minutes over medium heat. Meanwhile, combine the leeks, onions, olive oil and half of the celery and carrots in a sauté pan and cook over medium-high heat until tender. Once the vegetables are tender, add them to the cooked peas along with 1 cup vegetable broth and puree the mixture while it’s still warm. Transfer the pureed soup back to the pot and add the remaining vegetable broth, curry powder, lemon juice and salt and pepper along with the remaining celery and carrots. Continue to cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Once the celery and carrots are soft, garnish with crème fraîche and cilantro and serve.

3 thoughts on “Curry Yellow Pea Soup

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