Sunday, October 24, 2010

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Yum. I love black eyed peas, and they're such a great food. I love that they don't have the same taste as beans but they do have the same texture. Plus, they're supposed to be lucky! So yesterday I made some soup, and it turned out really well, so I thought I'd share the recipe.

1 pound of black eyed peas, checked for stones and soaked overnight
1/2 pound of sausage or 4 strips of bacon or 1/2 pound of chicken thighs
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
several sticks of celery, split in half, washed and chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, depending on how garlicy you like it
1 can of tomatoes (I like diced)
chicken stock or broth
2 bay leaves
oregano, sage, red pepper flakes, thyme to taste

If not using meat, saute the onions, garlic, celery and spices in olive oil until the onions are just turning clear.
If you are using meat, brown the sausage or cook the bacon or chicken. For sausage, add the veggies when the sausage is about half done. For bacon, cook the bacon, remove it, and use some of the fat to cook the veggies. For chicken, cook the veggies in some olive oil to start.

Add the tomatoes, juice and all. Use the tomato juices to help loosen whatever stuck to the bottom of the pot. (That is good tasty stuff down there, I promise). After a minute or too, add the broth (enough to cover everything well) and bay leaves and peas (and chicken if you're doing it that way). Throw in a sprinkle of salt if the broth isn't salted already.

Bring everything to a nice high simmer. Cover, stirring occasionally until the beans are tender (about an hour-- but anywhere from 45 minutes to 1:30).

To serve, add some grated cheese or sour cream to your bowl. Serve with bread and salad, or toss in some pasta (shells would be great) about 8 minutes before serving, and bring it to a boil.

A perfect fall/winter soup. The leftovers keep really well and freeze too if you didn't add pasta.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

bean soup!

I adore bean soup. Black bean soup, split pea, lentil soup, minestrone, anything. (Yes those are all in the bean family.) Noms. And as the weather is getting colder, and I've been suffering under a cold, I decided it was good weather to pull out the soup pot.
But, like I said, I've been sick, so I haven't gone grocery shopping. So I used what I had in the house and made a damn tasty soup.

Suggested Ingredients (but feel free to substitute):
  • one bag (1lb) of 16 beans (don't use the flavor pack if it comes with one. gross.) 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • carrots, chopped
  • celery, chopped
  • one can of diced tomatoes 
  • bay leaves
  • spices-- thyme, oregano, etc
  • broth or stock of whatever variety, or bouillon, etc
  • if you want, a chicken breast or some cooked Italian sausage
1. Either soak the beans overnight, or boil them and soak in the hot water for an hour (per package directions). Drain, rinse, and put in the soup pot.
2. Toss in everything. If using stock, you can dilute it with water. Add more than enough to cover everything.  The chicken can go in raw, it'll boil.
3. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a high simmer. Partially cover, and let cook for at least 2 hours.
4. If you used chicken, pull it out and shred it with two forks. If you want, you can also throw in some small pasta, like shells, and boil for a few more minutes until tender.
Add some olive oil for flavor, and grate cheese over to serve. Yummm.