If pressed to pick a favorite food category, my answer would be soups. Even given my affinity to all things sugary sweet, soups would win over desserts. A person can live on soups. I suppose a person can live off desserts, too, but a gut rebellion is surely inevitable along with the associated clothes rebellion causing severe shrinkage of every article you possess.
A few years ago, my sister and I met for dinner at High Cotton in Greenville, SC and I had my first bowl of blackeye pea and collard green soup. The soup was so good and I knew my first bowl couldn’t be my last.
So I made it.
The idea of this soup makes so much sense and follows the principles of a frugal lifestyle, whereby, no food goes to waste. You certainly can use canned or fresh blackeye peas and collards but using leftovers is a supreme idea. Truth be told, I always make more blackeye peas and greens than any group of people can ever expect to consume in one setting….or three settings.
Approximate the ingredient amounts. The EXACT amounts are EXACTLY equal to the EXACT amounts of leftover peas and greens I have on hand. If I have 3 cups of peas and 1 cup of greens, that’s what’s going in the soup. Also, you can substitute various types of greens.
Make up a big batch and freeze some for later. You’ll appreciate it on an average Monday.
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Blackeye Pea and Collard Green Soup
yields: a big stockpot full. You decide how many servings you can get.
The blackeye peas, collards and stock have all been cooked and properly seasoned thereby greatly reducing the need for additional seasonings. Seasoning adjustments are necessary if you’re doing it differently. Do not substitute uncooked, dried blackeye peas. Tomatoes will keep them from getting soft. They must be cooked before added. I don’t drain the peas and collards. Their cooking liquids contain a lot of flavor.
Enough olive oil to cover bottom of pot
2 sweet onions, diced
1 head garlic, cloves peel, smashed and diced
2 cups cooked ham, diced
2 (1 lb) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tbsp jalapeño pepper, diced (optional)
4 cups cooked blackeye peas, undrained
2 cups cooked greens, undrained
2 quarts chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a stockpot. Toss in diced onions, stir occasionally and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and ham, stir occasionally and cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
Adjust for seasonings. Serve with cornbread.
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