Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Soup is a recipe I often turn to when I am looking for a delicious, low-calorie meal that has staying power. My time and focus are freed up because it’s a simple, one-pot recipe. Plus, I know a bowlful will set me to continue on my day and not have to think about eating again soon.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love to eat. However, thankfully I’ve learned that balancing eating with all the other joys of life brings the most health and happiness. Likewise, I’ve chosen ingredients for the soup to compliment and balance one another. That’s why this soup isn’t just any old bowl of black-eyed peas. The result is amazingly tasty.
Blacked-eyed peas have a mild flavor and creamy center. The cute, spotted legume is a hearty food with 23% protein or 14 grams of protein per cup. Like other legumes, they are a rich source of minerals, including iron, as well as fiber and other nutrients.
I like to soak and cook beans from scratch because the flavor and texture are vastly superior to my taste. But there may be several other reasons not to use canned beans. I came across some interesting data while doing a little reading to satisfy my curiosity. Canned black-eyed peas have 1% of recommended daily values for vitamin A, versus 44% for peas soaked and boiled from scratch. Wow, I think that’s quite a difference, don’t you?
I haven’t confirmed those numbers with several sources. However, I think it’s safe to say canned beans are less nutritious than fresh cooked. I figure it’s like Bob Dylan said. “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
Are you wondering how the other ingredients in the soup compliment these nutrient-dense beauties? Sweet pumpkin is a perfect mate to the nutty, savory flavors of cumin, garlic, and black-eyed peas. You’ll love the way green pepper provides a welcome fresh bite and lightens the earthy qualities of the soup. Add a generous teaspoon of Hungarian paprika, a pinch of red chili powder, and a dash of liquid smoke, and every mouthful is complete.
Now that you know how flavorful this recipe is, did you know that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is said to bring luck and prosperity? You might not want to count out all 365 beans in your bowl to insure your good fortune like some people do. However, you could enjoy a salad or these amazing mustard greens with your Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Soup. Then you would be eating the green that symbolizes all the dollar bills you’ll have in the year ahead.
Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Soup
- 1 cup dry black-eyed peas
- 4 cups water
- 3 cubes vegetable bouillon
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 cups cubed raw pumpkin or butternut squash
- 1 tsp. sweet smoky Hungarian paprika
- 3/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. red chili powder, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 cup green bell pepper, diced 1/2 inch
- 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
- Soak peas overnight or cover with boiling water for one hour. Drain and rinse.
- Put everything except liquid smoke, green bell pepper and cracked black pepper in a pot. Bring to a boil and cook 45 min to an hour until peas are very soft.
- Add last three ingredients and continue cooking 10 minutes or so until green bell pepper is tender.