It must have been somewhere between sleep and consciousness when I decided I was going to be eating soups for the first month of this New Year.
Christmas was just over and we were languidly ensconced in that passing space of nothingness between Christmas and New Yearâ€™s while we waited for that imminent change.
I texted my sister asking her if we could make black-eyed peas soup for New Yearâ€™s â€“ thatâ€™ll start off my month of soups perfectly, I thought.
So on New Yearâ€™s Eve my sister brought beans and kale and a bounty of vegetables from the market, we chopped and sliced and diced, and sautÃ©ed them gently.
That night, before we went on to welcome the New Year, we put our soup fixings in the slow cooker, which is really just the rice cooker with a slow-cooking function, and set it to cook.
The next morning we had a lavish breakfast; another borrowed tradition of eating well at the start of the year to ensure â€˜good eatingâ€™ the rest of the year.
We drank milky coffee with thick slices of pandoro and wholesome fruits.
We set the soup to warm after breakfast, got our coats on and went for a long walk, we came back ready for the soup.
We set out the soup with baguette and tortilla chips, and lemon and nuts for toppings; we gathered around the table and had a small soup party, and drank wine and mimosas.
This soup is hearty and filling, with rich nourishing and comforting flavours; I canâ€™t think of a more wonderful and satisfying meal to start the New Year with.
We had plenty of leftovers, which I ate for the rest of the week.
Iâ€™m looking forward to more incredible soups this month, Iâ€™m making a black beans and chard in a tomatoey broth this weekend, and I found a wonderful lentil and potato recipe I plan on making soon â€“ I think Iâ€™m going to like that one a lot.
Black-Eyed Peas and Kale Soup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large leek (white and light green parts), diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 – 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, to taste
- 1 cube or tablespoon vegetable bouillon (we used Harvest Sun Herb Bouillon)
- 4 cups cooked black-eyed peas (about 2 1/2 16-oz cans with water)
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes (about 3 cups)
- 1 bunch of kale, chopped (discard tough stems)
- 6 â€“ 7 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust accordingly if beans and broth have salt)
- Chopped Cilantro and or hot sauce for garnish (optional)
- Heat coconut oil in a saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat
- Add onion and coriander seeds and cook until onion is translucent, about 3 – 5 minutes
- Add garlic, leek, celery, and bell peppers, cook for another 3 â€“ 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender
- Stir in cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and vegetable bullion
- Transfer the mixture into your slow cooker or crock pot
- Add the beans, kale, broth and salt, stir
- Cover and cook on low for 7 â€“ 8 hours (or 2 -3 hours on high) until flavours meld
- Stir occasionally, taste and check seasoning and adjust if necessary
- Serve sprinkled with cilantro and or hot sauce