Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays: Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Corn Bread Croutons

Besides the Rose Bowl Parade and college football games, the other thing about New Years Day that I love is preparing the traditional dishes that bring you a bit of luck and few extra pennies in your pocket.  Like most Southerners, I adore black eyed peas, cornbread, and collard greens.  So the idea of creating a spread that includes all of these things is my idea of heaven.  I have tested several recipes over the past few years, and while I have enjoyed them all, I was in the market for something a little different to ring in this new decade.  I found this soup recipe on www.myrecipes.com, and I was immediately struck by its balance of simplicity and unique flavors.  I love the idea of blending the saltiness and smokiness of the bacon with the earthiness and spiciness of the watercress.  How unique!  All this accompanied by the sweet flavor of a good bite of cornbread is a perfect way to start my new year.  
Yield: 6 servings


  • 1  cup  (1-inch) cubed corn bread (about 3 1/2 ounces)  (I'm going to use the extra boxes of Jiff leftover from Thanksgiving)
  • 4  applewood-smoked bacon slices, chopped
  • 3  cups  chopped onion
  • 6  garlic cloves, minced
  • 6  cups  cooked black-eyed peas (I'm using canned)
  • 2  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2  cups  water
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 1  cup  chopped trimmed watercress  (Try arugula if you can't find watercress)


Preheat oven to 350°.
Arrange corn bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Set bacon aside. Add onion and garlic to drippings; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and next 5 ingredients (through pepper); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until beans are very tender.
Place half of bean mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining bean mixture. Ladle about 1 1/3 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons watercress, 2 1/2 tablespoons croutons, and about 1 1/2 teaspoons bacon.

1 comment:

  1. Ooo, I can have this since all the ingredients are gluten free. This looks delicious. Maybe I will tackle this on Sunday for my Sunday Night Supper!!



Related Posts with Thumbnails