Tomorrow is the very last day of 2013. I can’t believe it’s already over. So much has happened and now we’re in Thailand waiting to ring in the new year. Did you know that its a tradition in parts of the U.S. to eat black eyed peas for the New Year? It’s supposed to be lucky, and I even read that you should eat one black eyed pea for each day of the coming year – that’s 365 black eyed peas unless it’s going to be a leap year and in that case it would be 366 black eyed peas. So what’s the best way to make sure you eat all those black eye peas? In a soup, of course.
This version of black eyed pea soup is the simplest you can make – with a base of chicken broth, just a hint of tomato paste and your basic soup vegetables (carrot, celery and onion). I added a little chili powder to give a flavor kick. It’s just enough seasoning to bring out the natural nutty flavor of the black eyed peas.
I used dried black eyed peas for this soup, which makes the soup really budget friendly. But here’s the thing about dried beans – they are all a little different. You may need to simmer yours longer to make them soft, and that may require a little extra water. If your liquid is almost completely absorbed and you find that your black eyed peas are still not soft, add a little more water and continue simmering until they are. I like my soup nice and thick, so I continued to simmer mine until there was barely any broth left, but you might not like yours like that. That’s the best thing about soups – you don’t need to follow the recipe exactly. Make it your own, and do what you want. If you do want a nice, thick soup, you may need to stir more often as you’re nearing the end of the simmer time to prevent the thickened soup from sticking.
Happy New Year!
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 4 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 large or 2 small onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ cups dried black eyed peas
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a large stockpot, heat olive oil to medium-high.
- Saute carrots, celery and onion until the onions are slightly translucent - about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables.
- Add black eyed peas, broth and chili powder.
- Cover and bring liquid to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2½ - 3 hours or until black eyed peas are soft and broth is creamy.
- Adjust seasonings if necessary and remove bay leaves before serving.