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Last updated: August 20. 2014 10:49AM - 912 Views
By - jsylvester@civitasmedia.com



A hearty bowl of black-eyed peas and kale soup, ready to eat
A hearty bowl of black-eyed peas and kale soup, ready to eat
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BLACK-EYED PEAS AND KALE SOUP


Ingredients


1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas drained and rinsed


(or use dried black-eyed peas and soak them overnight, cook them as directed and then add to soup)


32 ounces vegetable broth


5 cubes vegetable bouillon


6 carrots peeled and cut into bite-size pieces


6 stalks celery chopped


1 onion chopped


2 8-ounce cans of diced tomatoes — do not drain


1/2 cup wheat berries (optional)


2 cups whole wheat elbow pasta


1 bunch kale (about 4 loose cups)


1 tablespoon dried thyme or 2 tablespoons fresh


2 teaspoons dried sage or 3-5 leaves chopped


3 bay leaves


1 pinch or two of red pepper flakes


salt and pepper, to taste


Combine vegetable broth, vegetable bouillon and vegetables, except for the kale. Begin cooking and add thyme, sage, bay leaves, salt and pepper and wheat berries.


Bring the soup to a boil and cook until the carrots and celery are as tender as desired.


Cook the pasta or rice so that it is al dente, or firm, then add it to the soup. Add kale. When it has wilted into soup, simmer or let the soup sit in the pot until serving.



Summer isn't the usual time to think about soup. But why not have some now, especially when you get a cool spell like we've had recently. Soup is hearty and and delicious and good for a few meals, if you make a big pot of the stuff.
 
The good thing about black-eyed peas and kale soup is, because it is essentially vegetable soup, you can use any varieties of vegetables or pasta, rice or quinoa. If you like a little meat in your soup, you can add sausage, ham, chicken or beef, ground or in chunks.
 
My wife came across a recipe or two for black-eyed peas and kale soup that we combined to form our own vegan version with whole grain elbow macaroni. It's healthy and, as soup tends to, tastes even better the next day when the leftovers are reheated.
 
It's not difficult to make, either. You can probably get it done in a half hour or an hour, especially if you used canned, rather than dried, black-eyed peas. You also can substitute kidney, cannellini, pinto or northern beans, or combine two or three kinds. This is your soup you are creating, after all, use your artist's palette to satisfy your palate.
 
If you use the dried black-eyed peas, soak them overnight, cook them as directed and then use them.
 
To make the soup, combine vegetable broth, vegetable bouillon (for extra flavor) and vegetables such as carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces, chopped celery and onion, diced tomatoes and, lastly, kale, cleaned and chopped or torn into pieces once you take it off the stem.
 
For seasoning, add dried or fresh thyme, sage, a few bay leaves, salt and pepper.
 
For a thicker soup, add some wheat berries, which you can find in the rice section of your grocery store and are similar to barley.
 
Bring the soup to a boil and cook until the carrots and celery are as tender as you like.
 
You can throw in some mushrooms and rice or quinoa or pasta. If you choose pasta, it's up to you to decide what kind to use — from elbows or shells to penne or ditalini. Some like spelt. If you're on a gluten-free diet, quinoa or rice are for you.
 
Cook the pasta or rice so that it is al dente, or firm, then add it to the soup, where they will finish cooking.
 
The kale is the last to go into the pot. Add a half of a bunch, a bunch or as much as you want after the soup is boiling. This green leafy vegetable wilts almost as soon as it hits the hot liquid. When the kale has wilted into soup, simmer or let it sit in the pot until you are ready to eat.
 
Afterward, if you have enough left over, you can look forward to a tasty quick meal the next day. But you might have to add a can of vegetable broth, because the pasta soaks up the broth.

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