All of this talk of old recipes, and especially the mention of svinmålla soup, reminded me that I have an old recipe for nettle soup. It is probably very similar to the recipe for svinmålla soup and is identical to my mother's spinach soup:
2 qts nettles
2 cups water
salt to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/4 qts pork stock and vegetable water from nettles
salt and white pepper
Wash nettles well and drain. Cook in slightly salted water 10 minutes or until tender. Strain, reserving water. Chop nettles finely or pass through
sieve. Melt butter, add flour and stir until well blended. Add stock, still stirring, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the nettle purée and season.
Serve with a poached egg or quartered hard boiled eggs floating on top.
My brothers called it ‘dead fish on a slimy pond’, but they really enjoyed it. I might add, only when Mom and Dad couldn't hear them!
Cheers, Chris Troy Since yellow pea soup is such a firmly rooted tradition in Sweden (I'm sure it goes hundreds of years back) and still enjoyed as part of Swedish
“husmanskost” (meaning basic,“every-day” meals) there are loads of recipes.
I'll give you my favorite here. Please bear with the detailed description -
better say too much than too little in this case.
Soak 4 deciliters of dried, yellow peas in 2 liters of water over night in a cool place.
Optionally change to fresh water (see below).
Heat to boil vigorously for 10-15 minutes. Skim off the hard scales that surface.
Turn the heat down.
Add 600 grams of lightly salted pork, Select a piece with more or less fat as you like. Typical is a part of the side of the pig. My absolute favorite
is smoked pork with not too much fat.
Add one, fairly large, peeled and sliced yellow onion and a medium sized sliced carrot (“pennies”).
Keep it just slowly boiling for another 1,5 to 2,5 hours. Stir lightly every now and then. It is a matter of taste how long you cook and how hard you
stir. Test for yourself.
Some like the peas to be identifiable, sort of “al dente” like Italian pasta, some like the soup to be fairly homogenous.
Towards the end of cooking season with either thyme OR sweet majoram (but
never both). You may have to add some salt depending on how salty the pork is.
After boiling with the pork for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of
the pork piece, take the pork out of the soup or else you'll have a very overcooked pork !. Cut it up in small cubes, some 5 by 5 mm. When you are
happy with the consistency of the pea soup, add the pork back into the pan just long enough to reheat.
A warning: this is not diet food. The pork should have some fat on it or you'll not have the real Swedish pea soup.
Yellow peas may be hard to find outside Sweden. At present I have not found any biological ref but basically they look like green peas except they are
pale yellow and we always get them dried.
Unfortunately they contain some carbohydrates that are somewhat hard to digest and may cause some “tummy wind”. If you use these tricks this should
normally be a minor problem:
Be sure to hydrate the peas properly before cooking. Minimum 12 hours.
You can change the water before you start cooking but you lose some flavor too.
Skim off the pea skins, which float on the surface during the first few minutes of cooking.
You may even whisk the soup at the end of cooking to get more scales out.
Cook for at least 2 hours.
Serve with mustard on the rim of the soup plate and Swedish hard rye bread (“knäckebröd”) with hard cheese.
Optionally also a small glass of heated Swedish “pusch” (= punch, a very
sweet, yellow, medium alcoholic drink seasoned with arrack).
This recipe looks very long and complicated but it's not at all much work. I gave this elaborate description to make sure you have the details too.
Try it ! It's a good solid, nutritious dish and on the low cost side as well (unless someone charges you too much to get the yellow peas).
The classical dessert is Swedish pancakes with strawberry or raspberry jam, of which you've seen a lot on this list already.
It seams we will soon have a complete Swedish cook-book here. Soon someone will ask for “bruna bönor”, “blodpudding” and “sjömansbiff” as well.
Happy cooking and “smaklig måltid” (= bon appetit in Swedish)