Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's Dinner

I made this black-eyed pea soup on New Year's Eve, and I thought it was so-so. Then the next morning, a reheated bowl of the same soup was great! In fact, it tasted like a different soup altogether. I've heard a million times how soups are better the next day, but in my own cooking, I've only noticed subtle differences until now. Anyway, if you make this soup, please don't eat any until it's a day old!

2 c. dried black-eyed peas, rinsed, sorted, and soaked overnight
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
6 cups water
1/2 pound spinach, washed with any tough stems removed
28-oz. can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. double-concentrate tomato paste

Saute the onion, celery, and carrot in oil over medium high heat until softened. Add garlic and saute an additional minute or two. Add thyme, oregano, water, and black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are softened, about 30 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients and cook an additional 25 minutes.

I served this with yams and cornbread. For the yams, I peeled and diced 2 yams, tossed them with olive oil, then roasted them in a 350-degree oven until they were soft and browned, tossing once during cooking. I salted them after cooking with coarse sea salt. If you don't have your own favorite vegan corn bread recipe yet, you won't find one here. Try Veganomicon!

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