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Topic: Black eyed peas and squash soup  (Read 464 times)
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« on: August 29, 2018 11:08:32 AM »

This has been a fave for decades, I could honestly eat it every single day. I think I like it more than Phở and that is really saying something because I LOVE Phở!

I hardly ever measure things so my recipes consist of rough directions, not always appropriate for a novice, I know and I apologize if it doesn't make sense to you. I never learned how to cook "properly" so I just wing it.

broth or water for as much soup as you'd like to make
black eyes peas (sub another creamy white flesh bean if desired)
pepper squash (sub for your fave, this one pairs beautifully with the beans), peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
olive oil or equivalent
onion, chopped into small squares
celery, chopped into small pieces
garlic, minced or crushed
fresh thyme branches, whole
bay leaf, whole
jalapeo pepper, cut in half and de-seeded (as many as you want, I use one and sometimes none)
fresh cilantro, leaves pulled loose from stems
fresh lime, cut into small 1/2 wedges
salt and pepper

There is more than one way to prepare this soup, I'll post some variations below but here is the basic method:
-Precook the beans in salted water to al dente. They simply take too much longer than everything else to soften, if cooked together all will be mush before those beans are edible. Ask me how I know  Undecided. While cooking, prep the rest.
-Bring broth to a boil with the thyme, jalapeo, bay, salt and pepper to taste. While it is simmering, prepare all else. It can simmer, covered, for as long as you'd like. Eventually the thyme leaves will fall off and the stems can be removed along with the bay leaf.
-Saut onion and celery with a sprinkle of salt in oil until beginning to soften, add garlic and squash pieces, saut 2-5 minutes more, stirring often.
-Add this mixture to the hot broth along with the beans.
-Simmer until the squash is tender.
-Garnish the bowls of soup with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

The squash can be peeled and boiled in the soup with everything else but I like to partially roast it instead. It's still very firm here but soft enough to be spooned or hand-peeled from the shell then broken up into bite-sized chunks. I add this just before serving, enough time to warm up in the broth but not cook much further. My mister likes it this way best, he says they are like squash dumplings.

In recent years I've found beans more challenging to digest so I try to always use dried and sprout them for a couple of days first. This is a very simple process, soak the dried beans in water overnight, drain and set them in a strainer over a plate on the counter. Rinse twice daily (giving the beans a bit of a shake to bring the bottom ones up to the top) until the sprout is as long as the bean, that is the point of optimum nutrition. In warmer weather this could take 1-2 days, 3 or even 4 if it's very cool in the room. No matter, they can be used when the sprout is smaller but they tend to lose texture if they are left to sprout for longer than recommended. If you find they are attracting fruit flies cover loosely with some netting or a piece of cut up tshirt. They need air but not light to sprout nicely.
If you feel this is too much work for a pot of soup, I will sometimes sprout lots, cook them to al dente and then freeze portions for another time. Sprouts don't freeze well because they are alive but cooked beans freeze perfectly, even if sprouted first.

*** they cook in a fraction of the time it takes from dried, adjust recipes accordingly when sprouting first.
And of course you can just use canned beans for this recipe.

Add chicken pieces, add crushed corn chips just before serving, add chopped avocado, add sliced green onions. I have even served it with a bit of rice. We made it for dinner with a vegetarian and a meat eater so added chicken to just some bowls. Everybody was very happy with this yummy soup, the cilantro and lime make it extra delish.

I also tried making a gluten-free version of tabouleh with quinoa but yuck, what a gloopy, gloppy mess it is. Eww. Nobody wanted to eat that, not even me. Sad.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018 11:42:08 AM by craftylittlemonkey » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018 04:18:23 PM »

Im going to share this with my brother who loves Pho too! Thanks for sharing.

« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018 04:40:20 PM »

That looks like a delicious recipe, and I didn't know the thing about sprouted beans being better/easier for digestion. Can't wait to try it, thanks!

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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018 07:18:47 PM »

I worked for a raw vegan sprout farm/resource centre, I learned a lot about sprouts. At the very least they cook fast!

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