This nutritional powerhouse of a soup will have you feeling great, and full!
If you are a regular reader of Mia Kouppa, you may already be aware that we have a love affair with black-eyed peas. We are actually fond of all things bean and legume, but the darling black-eyed pea holds a special place in our hearts…because it is so darn cute. Take a good look at these beans, with their perfect small shape and perfectly situated black “eye” and we’re pretty sure you will agree, they are adorable! Still, if you’re more mature than us and not that interested in appearances, we think we can convince you to love black-eyed peas anyways, because they are delicious, versatile and so, so good for you.
We first introduced this lovely legume with the traditional Greek vegan dish of black-eyed peas and spinach; this is one of our favourite meals. We then offered you the recipe for a simple and fresh black-eyed pea salad; also delicious, and so nutritious. Today, with the weather getting colder and winter drawing near, we thought it would be timely to share a recipe for a black-eyed pea soup, filled with vegetables and a kick of heat. So there you have it; with this recipe you now have the option to enjoy black-eyed peas as a meal, a salad or a soup. All that’s missing is a black-eyed pea dessert…but you can bet we’re working on it.
There are many varieties of black-eyed peas available throughout the world. The most common commercial variety is the California Black-eye, and that is what we use in this recipe. If you happen to come across another variety of black-eyed pea, give it a try. Apparently the different varieties, many of which are heirloom, come in various colours! They may also vary in their cooking time, so adjust as necessary.
When you purchase your dried black-eyed peas try to buy them in a place with a high bean turnover. Although dried legumes don’t spoil per se, if they are very old they may take a much longer time to cook. In a pinch, you can use good quality canned black-eyed peas. Simply rinse them very well to remove all the excess salt and limit the amount of salt you will add to your meal. Although we always recommend using dried legumes over canned, truth is, if you use canned here you have cut your cooking time down by at least an hour. Sometimes, that is essential!
The dried chili peppers used in this soup give it quite a kick of heat. If you would prefer a less spicy soup, use only one chili pepper. If you would like it to be entirely non-spicy, don’t use any chili peppers at all. After tasting you can always decide to add a little bit of ground black pepper instead.
We used two types of kale in this soup, primarily because the last of our garden crop gave us purple kale and tuscan kale. Feel free to use whatever type of kale you like and using only one variety is totally fine as well. The important thing is to cut the kale into bite sized pieces and to remove any tough stems or ribs.
Mia Kouppa: Black-eyed pea soup with kale
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped celery (approximately 1 stalk)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 dried hot chili peppers
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup sliced carrots (3 – 4 carrots)
- 2/3 cup dry black-eyed peas
- 8 cups water
- 3 teaspoons tomato paste
- 6 cups chopped kale, rinsed well (discard any tough stems)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Rinse and pick through your black-eyed peas to remove any stones or any peas that are shrivelled up. Soak them in cold water for 12 hours or overnight. The next day, drain, rinse and set aside.
- In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and celery along with the bay leaves and the hot chili peppers. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the carrots and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the black-eyed peas to the pot along with the water and tomato paste. Increase heat to high in order to bring the contents of the pot to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- After an hour, check your beans; they should be almost done. At this point add the chopped up kale and salt. Stir well. Cover the pot and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat. Discard the bay leaves and chili peppers.
- Serve hot and enjoy.