Swedish yellow split pea soup

Vegetarian Swedish split pea soup

Sometimes, it’s hard to get up the enthusiasm to write much about a recipe, not because I don’t love it, but I feel like enthusing too much about something as humble and simple as this split pea soup, is kind of ridiculous. What more can I really say about it except that it’s my new favorite soup since I first made it a few weeks ago.

Vegetarian Swedish split pea soup

I’ve added a few things to the original recipe – an onion, some dried mustard, substituted fresh dill for dry and given it a bit of a lift with lemon juice, but there’s not much more you can add and I’m sure the original recipe with fewer ingredients is pretty damned delicious too.

The days are getting warmer in Sydney, but are still cool and make for perfect soup weather. This soup is vegan, frugal, simple to make, and both hearth and heart warming. Add some bread and dinner is done!

Vegetarian Swedish split pea soup with fresh dill

Swedish yellow split pea soup

Adapted from Lesley’s Swedish split pea soup at Penny’s recipes.

  • 250 grams of yellow split peas (soaked overnight or for six or so hours and drained)
  • 2 medium carrots chopped in cubes
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tablespoon of dried mustard (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill or 1 tablespoon of dried
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • juice from half a lemon (optional)
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  1. Heat oil in large pan, saute onion until translucent, then add carrot, garlic and fennel seeds and saute until fragrant.
  2. Add stock, split peas and bay leaf, bring to a simmer.
  3. Stir occasionally so peas don’t stick to the bottom and simmer for 35–45 minutes until peas are cooked and tender and soup is nice and brothy.
  4. Add dill, lemon juice, black pepper and salt and more water or stock if soup is too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serves 3–4

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free


  1. This looks so lovely – the pop of yellow such a welcome sight in winter. And I’m a sucker for anything Scandinvian so I will certainly be trying this.

  2. lizzygoodthings says:

    This soup sounds like just the ticket for cold winter nights… especially here in Canberra! Love your blog!

  3. What a gorgeous coloured soup! That looks delicious, I will have to add it to the list of soups I’m rotating through this winter!

    • This is my new favourite soup because it’s so easy, apparently it’s traditionally eaten on Thursday nights in Sweden followed by pancakes for dessert which sounds like a perfectly well balanced meal to me.

  4. I have a new found affair happening with soups and have ben experimenting a lot lately ….. I will definitely try this one ! Thanks DC

  5. Oh I definitely get enthused about soup. Sometimes just a single vegetable gets me excited! I once wrote an overly-enthused post about white zucchinis that I’m sure no one was interested in but I couldn’t help myself! This soup looks lovely Elizabeth.

  6. If using mustard, does it go in with fennel or later with dill ?

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