Recipe # 12 Ham and Black-eyed Pea Soup
1 pound of ham and ham bone
8 oz black-eyed peas
1 large onion - diced
2 large carrots - sliced
2 stalks celery - diced
2-3 tomatoes - chopped
1-2cloves of garlic
4 cups (2 cans) chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Soften the beans prior to starting the soup. To quick start this process, place beans in a pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove and let the beans soak for one hour. Rinse beans and they are ready for the soup pot.
Heat a large soup kettle and sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic. When the vegetables soften, add bits diced ham and stir together. Season with salt and pepper. It is not necessary to cook the vegetables first. All the ingredients can be put in the pot and heated. However, a quick sauté will bring out the aromatic qualities and make the kitchen smell good. It doesn’t take much time and you can add the ingredients as you chop them up.
You’ll notice a bottle of wine on the counter. This recipe does not call for wine to be added to the pot, but it doesn’t hurt to add a bit to the cook.
Once the vegetables and ham have cooked a few minutes, add tomatoes, softened black-eyed peas (any variety of bean will do) and 4 cups of stock. Add additional water to cover all the ingredients.
Bring the soup up to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about three hours. My stove has a simmer control that works well for soups. This recipe also works well in a slow cooker or crock pot.
Soup always goes well with good bread. An easy favorite in our house is garlic toast.
Start with thick slices of French bread. Heat butter, olive oil and chopped garlic in the microwave. Brush each slice with the mixture and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each slice with a little parmesan cheese and a little dried parsley. Broil one side until heated and slightly toasted.