Saturday, January 9, 2010

Black-eyed Pea Soup

My earliest memories of New Year's Eve are of my cousins, brother and I spending the night at my grandmother's house.  We would stay up all night playing Monopoly and would go out to her car and honk the horn when the clock struck midnight.  She would always make black-eyed peas for New Year's Day, because it would bring good luck in the new year. 

I decided that I would attempt to make some black-eyed peas this year.  I browsed for a recipe because I wasn't quite sure how to cook them.  I found this recipe for black-eyed pea soup that sounded quite yummy and decided to give it a try.  I honestly thought that I would be the only one eating them, but both Cameron and Danny loved them.  Cameron wanted a second bowl!  Needless to say, I was completely thrilled.  There is little that pleases me more than for someone to truly love something that I have cooked or baked.  It's kind of a rush.  It's even better when I create something myself that didn't come exactly from a recipe.  I did start with the recipe I found on the website, A Year of Slowcooking, but changed up some ingredients based on what I had in my refrigerator and my new love of poblano peppers.  These tasty peppers have been finding their way into a lot of my cooking lately. They have great flavor and add just the right amount of heat. 


--1 pound dried black eyed peas
--1 pound spicy sausage (Andouilli)
-- 5 cups chicken broth
--1 yellow onion, diced
--1 cup diced carrots
--1 diced poblano pepper
--4 cloves garlic, diced
--1/2 tsp Mexican seasoning
--1 tsp kosher salt
--1/2 tsp black pepper
-- 4 slices of bacon
-- cilantro chopped

The Directions.

Soak your beans overnight. Drain and pick out the undesirables (broken, discolored beans) in the morning.
Use a 5 to 6 quart crockpot. This will serve about 8 people. Dice the veggies, and dump them into your crockpot with the pre-soaked beans. Add sliced sausage. Pour in broth, and stir in Mexican seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for about 6. Before serving, use a stick blender to smash up about 1 cup of beans. If you don't have a stick blender, scoop out 1 cup of beans, blend them in a traditional blender, and add back to the soup. Don't blend too much---just enough to get the broth thicker and creamy-looking.

Ladle into bowls, and add cilantro to taste.

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