Over the past 20 years, Easter weekend has always been spent in our little summer cottage, our Paradise, in the north of Hälsingland. One of our Easter traditions is to invite friends and neighbors on Good Friday for a get together on the frozen lake and treat them with my homemade pea soup, punsch and saffron pancake.
This year was no exception and we enjoyed a seven hour joyful gathering in the sun with friends, food, drinks and music.
Pea soup, or as we say ‘Ärtsoppa’, is a traditional Swedish dish you’ll find on almost every restaurant’s Thursday menu. It is also a popular dish when you invite a lot of friends for an informal party, simply because it is easy to make in large amounts, it doesn´t cost much and most people like it. At least if they have the punsch to go with it.
Punsch is a Swedish liqueur with the base ingredient of arrack that’s often served (then hot) with the pea soup. The peak of the Punsch consumption in Sweden occured during the nineteenth century when it became part of the cultural life and festivities in the universities’ student associations at the time and still is.
Saffron pancake (saffranspannkaka) is a traditional dish from the province of the island Gotland (the larges island in the Baltic Sea) that’s served with blue raspberry jam (salmbärssylt). Blue raspberry is a cross between raspberries and blackberries and grows wild on Gotland.
Here are my homemade versions of pea soup and saffron pancake, so enjoy!
- 500 grams of dried yellow peas
- 2 liters of water
- 2 + 2 tsp salt
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 teaspoons marjoram
- 1 cube of vegetable stock
- 300-400 grams of salted pork
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons sweet (and coarse-grained) mustard (Swedish mustard is often sweetend)
Just double the ingredients if you want a larger amount. The soup is also perfect to store in the freezer for meals to come.
- Rinse and soak the peas along with 2 teaspoons salt for 6 – 12 hours.
- Boil fresh water with peas, pork, the remaining salt (don’t take all at once, remember the pork will add some salt too) and herbs.
- Let simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours
- Remove the pork when tender and add the onions, whole.
- Cut the pork into cubes and add at the end. Season with mustard (and salt) to taste. Let it simmer for 1,5 – 2 hours.
- Taste the peas to make sure they are completely cooked and soft.
Serve with mustard on the side and a shot of hot (or chilled punsch).
- 4 x 500 gram rolls with rice porridge ( I make it easy for myself and buy rolls with ready-made rice porridge, but of course you can cook your own.
- 4 eggs
- 3 dl of single cream
- 1 gram of saffron
- 0.5 dl sugar
- 1 tbs vanilla sugar
- 100 grams of finely chopped almonds
- Whisk eggs, cream and almonds mixed with sugar and vanilla sugar together.
- Fold into the rice porridge and mix well.
- Pour batter into a greased dish and bake for about 1 hour. Check with a stick that the cake has set and the stick comes out dry.
- Cover with waxed paper or foil if the cake starts to get too much color.
- Serve lukewarm with “Queen’s jam” (drottningsylt – a mixture of blueberries and raspberries) and whipped cream.