I eat lentils almost every day. Lentils are great and all, but I eat them so often more out of convenience (they are small and cook quickly without needing to be soaked) rather than for my undying love for them. I decided to branch out and make a legume that I tend to ignore. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have made black eyed peas, so when I was in the bulk aisle of Whole Foods the other day, I decided to fill a bag with them. Wanting nothing more than warm, hearty soups with these bone-chilling temperatures, I concocted a soup using the black eyed peas and some winter vegetables.
One obvious benefit of the Winter Farmers’ Market is that I have regular access to the most beautiful fresh produce all throughout the winter. Each week I have been stocking up on lots of carrots and sweet potatoes. I got both orange and yellow carrots from Winter Moon Farm last week. The yellow carrots happened to be not as sweet as the orange when raw, so I decided to throw them in my soup along with sweet potato and onion.
Thanks to an overnight soak, the black eyed peas were completely soft after simmering for less than an hour. I loved the contrast between the thick, creamy beans and the tender and juicy carrots. The black eyed peas and vegetables produced a wonderfully sweet and starchy broth. I added just a little bit of cumin and black pepper. I kept the seasoning simple because I did not want to overpower the natural sweetness from the peas and the vegetables. I definitely plan to make it again and experiment with some more flavors. It would probably be delightful with a little bit of sage or ginger.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups dried black eyed peas, soaked six hours or overnight
1 medium to large sweet potato, diced into half-inch chunks
2 large carrots, chopped (I used yellow carrots, any will do)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sweat onions and garlic in the pan for 6-7 minutes, until onions are translucent and just slightly caramelized. Drain black eyed peas and add to pot along with sweet potatoes and carrots. Cover with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Allow mixture to simmer for 1 hour. Season with cumin, salt and pepper.