Beatrice Ojakangas

Recipes from the Scandinavian Chef

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Location: Duluth, Minnesota, United States




This is the perfect time of year to settle in, simmer a pot of pea soup, bake a loaf of rye bread and read a book. Well, that’s what I dream about. I do get the pea soup and bread going, but there is always something that seems to come in the way of cuddling into a blanket and reading a book. Rather, I simmer the soup, bake the bread and read the book while I catch a few minutes on the stationery bike as I try to shake off that five pounds that crawled up around my waist the past few months.

Scandinavians on the other hand, are avid outdoor-sports fans – never mind the cold winter weather. By February, the days have become longer, though not much warmer and with more daylight hours people spend time outside, enjoying ice skating, sliding and cross-country skiing. I love the cross-country skiing, too.

Being the “Martha” of a group, I’m always thinking about what to feed people. I love to have impromptu parties, but need easy ideas for menus. This is one foolproof menu that doesn’t require a lot of last minute attention.

A pork roast simmers with the peas, onions and spices, lending its rich flavor to this rather unusual recipe for pea soup. The idea came many years ago from a friend in Finland. When the soup is done, you simply lift the roast out of the pot and slice it to serve as a topping for open-faced rye bread sandwiches. Add to the menu sliced hot house (from Bay Produce), tomatoes. Norwegian Apple Pie which is more like an apple crisp than pie makes a perfect, simple dessert.

2 cups dry yellow Swedish peas
3 quarts water
1 (3 pound) lean fresh pork roast
3 medium onions, sliced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon dried leaf marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste

Sort and wash the peas and place into a deep soup kettle with the water. Soak overnight. Simmer over medium-high heat for 2 hours or until the peas are softened. Add the pork roast, onions, ginger and allspice. Simmer two to three hours until the pork is tender. Skim fat from the surface. Add the marjoram and salt and pepper to taste. To serve, place the pork roast on a platter and cut into slices. Serve on top of rye bread slices. Makes 6 servings.

1 package active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1-1/4 cups warm water (105*F. to 115*F.)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1-1/2cups rye meal, dark rye, or whole wheat flour
1-3/4 to 2 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, stir yeast and sugar into the warm water; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Add the salt, butter and rye meal and beat until smooth. Beat in bread flour, 1 cup at a time until dough is stiff. Let rest 15 minutes. Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 5 minutes until dough feels smooth and well mixed. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch dough down and shape into a ball. Place loaf on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled. Preheat oven to 375*F. (350*F. for convection oven). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush top of hot loaf with butter if desir3d. Cool on a rack. Makes 1 large loaf.

1 egg
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts
2 small, tart apples, diced (about 1 cup)

Whipped cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 350*F. (325*F. for convection oven). Generously butter a 9-inch pie pan; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients except for the whipped cream until well blended. Turn into the pie pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. To serve, cut into pie-shaped wedges and top with whipped cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful recipe (Pea Soup with Pork) -- we make this every Christmas Eve along with my father's Finnish Baked Beans. It is a beloved tradition!

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:11 PM  

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