Sunday, December 29, 2019

Black-eyed Pea Soup with Salsa

DEBORAH CROMBIE: In the South we consider it good luck to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. This is our traditional New Year's recipe, adapted from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread Book by Crescent Dragonwagon.  The original recipe calls for homemade salsa (Arkansalsa) and garlic oil as garnishes, but I'm too lazy to make them so just go with our favorite fresh salsa. Don't skimp on the creme fraiche, however!



BLACK-EYED PEA SOUP WITH SALSA AND CREME FRAICHE
Makes 8-10 servings

1 pound black-eyed peas
7 to 9 cups chicken stock, divided
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Spicy V8 juice
1 tablespoon
Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 to 2 large Vidalia
onions, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 carrots, scrubbed and diced
1 red or yellow bell
pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
3 ribs celery with leaves, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes: salsa, sour cream, cilantro

Directions:
1. In a large, heavy soup pot, cover black-eyed peas, washed and picked over, with water (add more water than you think since the peas absorb the water). Let them soak overnight.
2. Drain the beans in a colander, then return the beans to the pot. Add 6 to 8 cups chicken stock to cover beans by 2 to 3 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Add bay leaves, oregano, ground cumin, basil and coriander. Cover the beans and let them simmer, stirring occasionally—until you can easily squash a bean against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Keep the soup over low heat.
3. Dissolve tomato paste in 1 cup chicken stock. Add to simmering black-eyes, along with V8 juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Tabasco sauce and minced garlic. Give the mixture a good stir to combine.
4. In a separate skillet, sauté chopped onions in olive oil until transparent, 3–4 minutes. Add carrots, red or yellow bell pepper and celery. Continue cooking until they soften a bit, another 2 minutes. Stir these vegetables into the soup, scraping the skillet to get the flavorful bits. If you think the soup is too thick, add additional stock.
5. Now it’s time to taste. Add salt and pepper if needed. Simmer another 15 minutes or so uncovered.
6. Ladle the hot soup into bowls, and top each serving with salsa, a dab of sour cream and a sprig of cilantro, if desired. Bon appetit!

 
We leave out the bell peppers, as hubby is allergic. Also, I crack whole coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle, and I think that is the absolute key to this soup.

It's delicious on the day, but if you can plan ahead and make it the day before you intend to serve it, it's even better. I serve mine with Skillet Sizzled Cornbread, from the same cookbook. (If you can find a used copy of this book, snap it up!)

REDS and readers, what's your New Year's good luck tradition?

41 comments:

  1. We like black-eyed peas, but I’ve never had them in a soup. This sounds amazing, though, and I’m looking forward to trying it.

    We also eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck; generally, while the peas cook, I chop up some bacon and cook it with diced onions, then mix in the black-eyed peas, and we have them as a vegetable with our meal . . . .

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  2. We love black eyed peas on New Year's Eve. We went to a friend's New Years Day party in San Francisco on PacH and they had this wonderful black eyed peas. Friends brought over different dishes. We create dishes out of what we find at the local farmer's market. Yummy!.

    Black eyed peas are a wonderful tradition to have on New Year's Day - a great start to a new year!

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  3. We have to have black eyes on New Year’s Day for good luck. If there are any leftovers I combine with rice for hoppin’ john. Served with corn bread, of course!

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    1. Hoppin John! And I even have some okra in the freezer.

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    2. I love this soup leftover with steamed brown rice. I think okra would be delish, too.

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  4. I don't really have a New Year's Day tradition, other than staying quiet and contemplative, although I love black-eyed peas. I think I'll try your soup, Debs!

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    1. Make it a day ahead if you can, Edith. Then you can have soup, quiet, and contemplation. That sounds wonderful. New Year's Day is usually quiet for us, too, except that we take down the Christmas tree and decorations.

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    2. I take it all down by New Year's Eve, so on the first I can just sit quietly. This year I'm having a small gathering of women friends, and look forward to having the house restored by then!

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  5. We have black eyed peas of course but I think this year we should all go to Debs’. I’ll bring cornbread.

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  6. I've never had black-eyed peas.

    My New Year's tradition comes from my grandmother - no wash on New Year's Day or you'll wash someone out of your family. The Hubby thinks it's just an excuse not to do laundry, but then again I do the laundry beforehand so unless they make a mess, there's nothing that needs to be done.

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  7. We always have black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, with collards or turnip greens and cornbread. This sound delicious. I have a black-eyed pea stew recipe that has collards and smoked sausage in it. Black-eyed peas not only bring luck for the New Year but are delicious and good for you too.

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    1. We usually eat this as a mostly vegetarian soup (the original recipe calls for vegetable rather then chicken stock and I've made it both ways) but I have some linguica sausage from the local butcher in my freezer and am thinking of adding that.

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  8. I just bought my dried black-eyed peas on Friday and was going to look for a soup recipe including cabbage. You have to have greens along with the peas right? Do you think the cabbage would work in this soup or better on the side? I like the spiciness of this so I'll try some version of it too. Thanks Debs!

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    1. I don't see why you couldn't add cabbage. I have cabbage--I might do that, too.

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  9. My husband always purchased pickled herring(eeew!) in central Wisconsin as that the food for good luck in the New Year. It was a community with many German descendants and that was a tradition they followed. When we moved to Northern Illinois, people bought shrimp for the good luck in the new year.

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    Replies
    1. I actually like pickled herring but I doubt I'd get anyone else in my family to touch it!

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  10. I have one more comment. I have had black eye peas. We went to a Cracker Barrel on New Years Day many years ago and they gave their customers a complimentary bowl of black eye peas for good luck in the new year. I have been there since on New Years Day and it wasn't done. This was in Northern Illinois.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe the black-eyed peas didn't catch on in Illinois!

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    2. Cracker Barrel started in Lebanon, Tennessee, and that sounds like something they may have done back in the day. They have deep roots in the South.

      My oldest daughter went to Cumberland University for a couple of years, also in Lebanon. She worked different jobs to help with expenses, and she got trained as a waitress at the original Cracker Barrel, which is where they train all their managers.

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  11. No special foods here on New Years Day so maybe that's why my luck hasn't always been so good. But I do love beans/peas of all kinds and this soup does sound delicious, Deb, so I think I'll try it! Thanks for the recipe.

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  12. Thank you, Debs! Anyone know where this tradition came from?

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    1. Hank, here's a good article: https://www.tripsavvy.com/blackeyed-peas-on-new-years-day-2212478

      Apparently the black-eyed pea tradition goes back to the Civil War, but there are a couple of stories.

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  13. Oh, this looks marvelous, Debs. Hub got me an air fryer for the holidays. I'm breaking it in with a run at poutine! Of course, now I'm wondering what fried black-eyed peas taste like. I'm going to fry EVERYTHING! Bwa ha ha ha ha.

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    1. We use creole spices. Very spicy and delicious.

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  14. We used to have a New Year's Day tradition, but our friends who always had a "first-footer" open house that day are getting older and they no longer host all their friends that day.

    I usually make us a Sazerac for toasting at midnight on New Year's Eve. And midnight can be anytime we say it is! And then I really prefer a quiet first day, probably reading.

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  15. This recipe sounds amazing! I make a vegetarian Hoppin' John Stew and coleslaw for New Year's Day. It's so good and simple, I always wonder why I limit it to only one day of the year.

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  16. When we lived in NE Ohio the custom was to have sauerkraut for luck. Usually in the form of sauerkraut balls.

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  17. This sounds SO delicious! I've never cracked coriander...
    I wonder, is there such a thing as fresh black-eyed peas? Or always dried?

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    1. Hallie, we eat fresh black-eyed peas from the farmers market all summer, as well as purple-hulled peas and cream peas, both of which are a little milder in flavor. You can also buy frozen black-eyes, at least here in Texas. The fresh ones I usually cook really simply, in a little chicken stock with some green onions. They are delicious.

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  18. Growing up the only New Year's tradition we had was a ginger ale toast (my parents didn't really drink all that much) as it turned into the next year. We'd be watching Dick Clark count down the ball and then say "Happy New Year". Of course, then we'd head to our beds pretty soon afterward.

    As I got older, the ginger ale thing continued. Now that it is just me, I don't do that anymore. Though a few years ago, I did start welcoming in each new year by playing an album by my favorite band Savatage. As soon as it hit midnight, I'd pop one of their albums into my player and that would be my first music of the new year. That's about the only thing I do these days.

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  19. My grandparents were from Kansas and Oklahoma so you would think one of them would have had the black-eyed pea tradition but I don't remember eating them in their home.. I ate plenty of dried beans and split peas growing up but don't remember black-eyed peas. I don't think Mom had a traditional meal for the New Year either though she did make prime rib with Yorkshire pudding for a few years when she first married John. I love a good prime rib and I learned from one of the best. And if there are any Norwegian traditions, I never learned them but if they have salmon, let me know, I love cured salmon.

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  20. We have our black-eyed peas bought for New Year's Day. I just buy a can of them to heat up, although I'd like to fix Hoppin John Soup one of these days. It has sausage and rice in it, with black-eyed peas. It's not a soupy soup, but a thicker one. A local restaurant here serves it, and I love theirs. Hmm. Maybe I should just go buy some of theirs. Another tradition is lettuce or cabbage for New Year's Day, so you will have folding money for the year, as the green in both represents green folding money.

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  21. Copied the soup recipe, Deb. I love that cookbook by Crescent! Every New Year's Day for luck we have black-eyed peas (or the preferred purple hulls) over rice,usually as Hoppin John. For green (folding money) I often make coleslaw as I don't
    care much for cooked cabbage, or else we have turnip greens, especially when one
    of my brother's requests it, but we had some at Christmas and Thanksgiving, so
    coleslaw it is this year! And I cook everything the day before, so it's more relaxing.

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  22. My (southern) mother said we needed to eat 365 black-eyed peas on new year's day--one for each day of the new year for good luck.

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  23. This sounds wonderful! Can't wait to try the recipe. Happy New Year!!

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  24. In Central Pennsylvania, it's pork and sauerkraut for New Year's Day. Since I don't like sauerkraut, I'll have pork and cabbage. I'm going to do it in the crock pot so I can eat before the Rose Parade. My grandma used to make sauerkraut.

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  25. Got to have blackened peas for luck, absolutely. This recipe looks delicious.

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  26. Wonderful recipe!

    My black eyed pea soup is a bit different.

    Five cups of black eyed peas
    Turkey broth
    Garlic powder
    Bell pepper pieces
    Onions
    Lemon pepper spices
    Creole spices
    21 Seasonings spices

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  27. We ate it tonight, Debs. Fabulous! Added brown rice, skipped the salsa (I went a little overboard on the spices...), and loved the sour cream dollop. Thanks so much.

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