Saturday, January 1, 2011
Weekend Cooking: Crockpot Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Today we have our Mummers on the TV, my mother-in-law visiting for the weekend and entertaining the kids, and my traditional Crockpot Black-Eyed Pea New Year's soup simmering away.
Well, it's actually not my soup ... it's from Stephanie O'Dea's cookbook, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, which is one of my absolutely-cannot-live-without-it cookbooks. Plus, I recently learned that Stephanie has a sequel ... More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow. Since I liked almost everything I've made from the first one (and her blog), I can't wait to get this one.
Anyway, back to the soup. Eating black-eyed peas on January 1 is considered to usher in good luck for the year ahead, and since we can all use all the luck we can get, this has become tradition. I've made this for the past three years now.
I start soaking the black eyed peas sometime after midnight, and then sort through them in the morning. (This is last year's photo, but this year's looked pretty similar.)
1 pound dried black eyed peas
1 pound spicy sausage (Stephanie used Aidells chicken habanero and green chile; I threw some vegetarian meatballs in the crockpot and am hoping for the best)
6 cups chicken broth (I'm using the vegetarian chicken broth)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery (omitted this, as I don't care for celery)
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Tabasco sauce to add at the end to taste (I'm not a fan of Tabasco sauce, so I'll be omitting this too).
Soak your beans overnight. Drain and pick out the undesirables (broken, discolored beans) in the morning.
Use a 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 Italian 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 Tabasco sauce to taste.
I'll serve this for dinner with a simple green salad (greens are good luck too), cheddar and garlic biscuits, and chocolate cake for dessert.
What's on your menu this New Year's Day? Do you eat anything special to welcome in the New Year and bring good luck?
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