Thursday, March 2, 2017

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Photo: Lisa's Kitchen
On New Year's Day I went to the supermarket to buy a can of black eyed peas. But when you first think of it on New Year's Day, you will find a huge empty space where cans of black eyed peas should be. Therefore, I returned home with a 16 ounce bag of dried black eyed peas, one of only four left! It was more servings of black eyed peas than I needed to ensure good luck.

Sooo. I began making a new soup, and I learned something else from my procrastination: Unlike pinto, black, pink or navy beans, there is no need to soak black eyed peas beforehand. (Ignore the directive to do so on the package.) After simmering on a stove top for 1.5 hour, they get tender enough to eat. Here is my quick and dirty recipe for 2 servings of tasty black eyed soup:


Black Eyed Pea Soup


Ingredients:


1/4 cup dried black eyed peas
2 carrots, sliced (I cut the vegetables in big chunks.)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small plum tomato, chopped (or any tomato you have)
1 medium potato, cubed
a cup of green vegetable: Select one of the following - green beans, kale, spinach, collard greens or peas (i.e., whatever you find in your freezer or refrigerator)
1 large bouillon cube (or 2 small)
2 1/2 cups of water
dried garlic powder to taste
dried onion powder to taste
a sprinkle of nutmeg
a sprinkle of Italian seasoning
a bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
a sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/4 cup of quinoa

Directions:


1) Dump all the ingredients into a pot. Two exceptions: 1} Hold the salt until the end, so it won't increase the cooking time of the black eyed peas. 2} If you use spinach or peas, hold them until the soup is nearly done so as not to overcook. Spinach or peas cook in under 5 minutes, so simply lay either on top of the pot of soup near the end of the cooking time.


2) Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let the soup simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.


Certainly, a 16 ounce bag of dried black eyed peas makes lots of soup! Make one big pot and freeze the leftovers, or 8 (2 serving size pots (which is what I'm doing to avoid leftovers). The choice is yours!


I've been making my soup vegetarian on nights I want to prepare a no fuss, quick meal, then pairing it with a protein. Quinoa is a complete protein grain. A ham sandwich is good too.

Feel free to toss grilled sausage into the soup, if you wish. Fresh or frozen vegetables are fine too. Soup is so adaptable ... a mish-mosh pot of deliciousness! Bon appétité!

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