Belated Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Hi everyone! So I know that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is supposed to bring prosperity during the upcoming year, but I’m a little late with this tradition 🙂 I figured that since I only found out about it a few weeks ago (yes I know, I live under a rock), I might still be able to get in on the whole prosperity thing for 2012 if I eat black-eyed peas during the first 10 days of January. (Though, looking back, I did eat black-eyed peas during lunch on New Year’s Eve, and it must have been New Year’s Day somewhere in the world by then 🙂 !!!
Anyway, I decided to try making a recipe for Curried Black-Eyed Pea Soup that a colleague of mine, the Registered Dietitian at Community Servings (an organization in Boston where I volunteer a few times a week) featured during one of her nutrition workshops (She adapted the recipe from Gourmet Magazine). I worked with her during the workshop and helped prepare the soup and so of course we all sampled some at the end of the session. I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised to find that I really loved the soup! The curry flavor was not overpowering at all, and I would even add some chili powder to the recipe to spice things up a bit. So today, I decided to try and make my own version, with some additional chili powder and spinach thrown in for some extra nutrition (calcium, folate, vitamin K, beta-carotene, lutein), and to add some greens to a traditional New Year’s Day dish (since eating greens on New Year’s Day is supposed to bring wealth during the upcoming year…Sure – I’ll take some of that please 😉
On a nutritional note, black-eyed peas are low in calories compared to some other legumes (like garbanzo beans), with 1/4 cup dry beans (which usually yields 1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked) having 90 calories, 23g carbohydrate, 10g of fiber and 9g of protein. These legumes are also high in magnesium, potassium and zinc, and a good source of iron for vegetarians.
So here’s the recipe for Curried Black-Eyed Pea Soup with my modifications, and additions of chili powder and spinach!
Curried Black-Eyed Pea Soup (adapted from Gourmet Magazine); serves 4
• 1.25 cups dried black-eyed peas
• 1 Tbsp canola oil
• 1/2 medium onion, chopped
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
• 1 tsp each: cumin, curry powder & chili powder (may use more chili powder if desired)
• 3/4 tsp salt (original recipe used 1/2 tsp but it seemed a little bland)
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 5 cups water* (original recipe used 6 but I found it to be too watery. Use less water if you want a thicker stew-like soup)
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1 cup spinach, chopped
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (for garnish)
• Tabasco sauce to taste (if desired)
1. Place beans in a large pot of water and bring to boil. Let boil for 2 mins, then let sit for 1 hour (in water). After an hour, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly, discarding the water. Set the beans aside.
2. Heat oil in the pot and add the onion, carrots, spices and salt. Cook for about 5 mins over low-medium heat, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
3. Add beans and 4 – 5 cups (depending on how thick you like your soup). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for about 30 mins or until beans are tender. Add more water if beans look dry or soup is too thick.
4. Carefully ladle 1/2 the soup into a blender and puree (or remove 1/2 the soup and use an immersion blender in the pot. You could also skip this step if desired). Return the pureed mixture to the pot, add the spinach and heat thoroughly.
5. Stir in lime juice and cilantro.
6. Serve hot with a few dashes of tabasco sauce if desired, and additional cilantro for garnish.