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Classic Swedish Pea Soup

Sharon Palmer

This Classic Swedish Pea Soup recipe is inspired by my husband’s Swedish eating traditions. Pea soup is a time-honored, beloved dish in Sweden, where it is often eaten weekly as a nutritious, satisfying meal. The history of this dish stretches back to ancient Roman times as peasant food. And the Swedes have enjoyed pea soup (Artsoppa) for centuries as a protein-rich, plant-based meal typically consumed on Thursdays in schools, the military, cafeterias, and restaurants. This recipe—inspired by my family’s original recipe—is completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free, with a very simple list of ingredients; just simmered peas, onions, mustard, broth, a few seasonings, and you’re all set. Serve it with a side salad and some crusty bread to make this dish a meal. While there is some mustard included in the recipe, try serving this soup with an extra stripe of yellow mustard after you ladle it into your bowl, as the Swedes do.

Classic Swedish Pea soup is typically based on whole yellow peas, if you can find them online and specialty stores. If not, turn to yellow split peas, readily available in many stores. You can make this simple pea soup even more healthful by sprouting the peas. Check out my easy steps for sprouting grains and legumes here.

Watch me make this recipe in my Instagram Live Plant-Based Cooking Show.

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Classic Swedish Pea Soup

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(6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This simple, healthy recipe for Classic Swedish Pea Soup is vegan and gluten-free, and it’s based on just a few easy ingredients in order to create an authentic hearty meal.



  • 1 pound dried yellow peas (see notes)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard (i.e. Swedish, whole grain, or Dijon, see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt (as desired, optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon thyme


  1. Cover the dried yellow peas with water and soak overnight.
  2. Drain the peas and place them in a large heavy pot.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the peas are very tender. Add water as needed to replace moisture lost to evaporation to create a thick texture.
  5. Remove the bay leaf before serving.


Traditional Swedish pea soup uses whole yellow peas (not split). If you are unable to find whole yellow peas, substitute split yellow peas, but reduce the cooking time by about 30 minutes, as they will cook faster.

Swedish mustard (senap), which may be found in some gourmet and international shops, has a characteristic sweet yet spicy flavor.

Instant Pot Directions: Soak and drain the peas, then combine with the other ingredients in the container of the Instant Pot. Press “Bean/Chili” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Slow cooker Directions: Soak and drain the peas, then combine with the other ingredients and cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. Serve immediately.

This recipe is from my book Plant-Powered for Life.
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Swedish, American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 203
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 59 mg
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 15 g
  • Protein: 14 g

Keywords: sprouted pea soup, split pea soup

For other delicious, plant-based soup recipes, check out some of my favorites:

Smoky Chili with Sweet Potatoes
French Wild Rice Vegetable Soup
Tortilla Soup
Instant Pot Vegetable Barley Soup

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