Fresh Black Eyed Peas & White Corn Soup
Today was such an awesome day. My sister and good friend took a few days off of work this week for a stay-cation, and so for the first time in a little while we got to set aside a good block of time for some uninterrupted chatting. As always happens when the two of us get together – we start talking and then five hours later we realize, “oops, suppose we should get home now…” It’s been like that almost since the first day I met her – and I feel so blessed to have her as part of my life. At any rate, the time hanging out was well worth it, even though I didn’t accomplish much else today, because now I feel much more relaxed and de-stressed. Sometimes the laughter and companionship of a good friend is better than a day at the spa.
After I got home, I had to take Miss Thing to practice, and I was torn between coming home and working on this blog post, or hitting the thrift stores to see if I could unearth any treasures – lucky for you peoples, I decided that I wanted to share my good mood with the interwebs, so here I am. Be Happy. Hurry up. I’m waiting. lol! Anyways, this recipe kind of evolved from a distinct desire to “do something” with those black eyed peas that I picked up at the farmer’s market. Ever since learning how amazing fresh beans are in comparison to the dried ones, I’ve found it impossible to walk away from fresh beans when I come across them. Fresh Fava and Garbanzo beans have both had a transformative experience on the way I look at beans. Dried beans are really no comparison. So despite the fact that I knew I probably wouldn’t get to them as quickly as I shoulda, I bought a couple of pounds.
I finally managed to find time to get them shelled yesterday, with a little bit of (grumbling) help from Miss Thing. Well, actually there was a lot of grumbling and a little help. When I poked around in the fridge and dredged up the last two ears of corn, I began to get the inklings of a plan. Some Bacon and Broth, and we had soup. And it was awesome. Just like with the Fava and Garbanzos, Fresh Black Eyed Peas are a completely different animal from the dried version. They were only mildly beany, with a fantastic fresh taste and texture. I won’t lie – they were a pain in the you-know-what to shell, but taste wise, they were amazing.
Now that I’ve seen how good fresh beans are, I admit that I’m a little puzzled that they aren’t available more often. I can only guess that most people aren’t willing to put in the work to shelling – but thats okay, because dude, more for me. In fact, I’m thinking that I might have to meander on down to the Farmer’s Market again this weekend to see if there are any vendors carrying some. But anyhow, back to the soup.
We’d already had corn on the cob recently, so it was a good time to experiment with doing something a little different with it. The light sweetness of the corn worked out perfectly with the spicy and tangy flavors that I was shooting for. Even Miss Thing, who has been anti-soup for the last year or two dubbed it “Pretty Good.” Which is high praise coming from her.
The nice thing about this soup, is that (aside from shelling the peas – which you can do anytime beforehand) is it really goes together very quickly. From start to finish it only took about 20 or 30 minutes – which includes prep for the remaining ingredients. Fresh Black Eyed Peas cook much more quickly than their dried brethren and fresh corn kernels barely need any cooking at all, IMHO, which makes this a perfect meal for a busy evening. I’d also like to tell you how well it reheats for meals later in the week, but unfortunately both Miss Thing and Mr. Man had 2 bowl fulls each and we didn’t end up with a lot of leftovers. To be fair, they’d both skipped lunch – but who wants to do that? lol
- 3 cups Fresh Shelled Black Eyed Peas
- 2 cups Fresh Corn Kernals
- 1 and 1/2 quarts Chicken Broth
- 1 Onion; diced
- 4 cloves Garlic; minced
- 3 strips thick cut bacon; cut in to ribbons
- 2 tbs White Wine
- 1 tbs Green Hot Sauce (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup Flour
- 1/4 cup Cilantro; finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 Lemon; Juiced
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Sour Cream (optional)
- In a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat, fry the bacon ribbons until crispy
- Remove Bacon pieces and set aside
- Reduce heat to medium and add Onions to rendered bacon fat. Saute until translucent
- Whisk in the Flour and cook until flour smells mildly nutty and is golden in color
- Whisk in the Broth a little bit at a time until incorporated
- Add the Garlic and bring the broth to a simmer
- Add the Black Eyed Peas and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until they’ve reached desired texture
- Stir in the corn kernels and cook for 1-2 more minutes
- Remove from heat and stir in the reserved Bacon, Cumin, Chili Powder, Lemon Juice, hot sauce, White Wine and Cilantro.
- Add Kosher Salt to taste.
- If desired, when serving top with a dollop of sour cream