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Hernekeitto. Finnish pea soup

Hernekeitto. Finnish pea soup

people icon For 6 euro icon € 1.09 /pers. calories icon 161 kcal/100g


  • 200g. green peas
  • 2 liters of water
  • 600g. of pork leg or (the piece of pork that you like
  • 10g. dried marjoram
  • 10g. dry mustard
  • 250 ml. cooking cream
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 carrots
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt (to the taste of each home)

Finland in a country where temperatures are very cold . That is why the Finns have come up with formulas to withstand these freezing temperatures based on shelters and comforting foods. One of them, and perhaps the best known, is hernekeitto soup.

It is a traditional Finnish green pea soup that has onion, thyme, mustard and pork. A true calorie and protein bomb to withstand those temperatures.

Pea soup is a dish with a lot of history . Already in ancient Greece, a dish similar to this was cooked that soldiers ate when they were in battle, because it gave them a lot of energy to face the battle later. This dish evolved and spread throughout Europe, until in the Middle Ages it reached northern Europe.

With the arrival of Catholicism, Hernekeitto became a regular Thursday meal to better carry out the fasting that Catholics did on Fridays. Being so dense and powerful, it was ideal to endure the next day without anything to put in your mouth. This tradition has continued over time and, today, all restaurants and school cafeterias in Finland serve hernekeitto soup on Thursdays.

We are addicted to soups , especially when winter comes. Proof of this are the many recipes we have, such as the traditional picadillo soup , the delicious parihuela soup , the exotic harira soup or the always delicious fish and seafood soup .

With this hernekeitto soup recipe we expand our catalog a little to look for new flavors. If you are bored with the usual soups, don’t hesitate to try this soup with so much history. It’s very easy to make and is delicious.

Preparation of hernekeitto or pea soup

  1. We start by washing the peas with a good splash of water and leaving them to soak in a pot overnight. The next morning, we bring the peas to the boil in the same water that has been soaking, and when it starts to boil, we lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook for an hour, until the peas soften.
  2. We add the pork to the pot and let it cook over low heat for 2 and a half hours, until the meat and peas are well cooked. During cooking, we add the chopped onion and the chopped carrots into more or less equal pieces (we peel the carrot first).
  3. We remove the foam during cooking to remove impurities and leave the broth more or less clean. We may need to add more water at the end so that it is not too thick.
  4. When the meat is tender, we take it out of the pot, remove any bones and any skin it may have, cut it into cubes and add it back to the soup.
  5. Add the cooking cream, marjoram, freshly ground pepper and salt. We bring everything to a boil and leave it for 5 minutes. We remove from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes. Ready to serve and enjoy a soup that lifts any bad day.

Tips for a perfect hernekeitto

  • After adding the meat and cream, we can also add carrots and onions if we want to give the soup more consistency.
  • We can replace the pork with a little smoked ham. It is best to cook it and chop finely to accompany the soup before serving. at your service.
  • Like lentils, this soup is much tastier if we prepare it overnight . In addition, we can freeze it without any problem and it will last 6 months.

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