Winter drags on, and what many need is a bit of brightness, and some soup. When the grey and cold becomes too much, nothing lifts the spirit like a bit of soup, and this one is no exception.
The foundation of this soup is the black-eyed pea, which is actually not a pea, but a bean. Cowpeas, as they are also known, are delicious and packed full of nutrients. In addition to the protein and fiber many love from beans, these also contain potassium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, B and K, magnesium, copper and phosphorus.
Mineral deficiency is a problem in far too many diets, and a healthy dose of dried beans can help. Iron is one of the most commonly deficient minerals today, but the problem is not always about eating enough. The iron in plant-based sources is not usually assimilated unless there is also some vitamin C along to assist. Fortunately, there are tomatoes and lime in this soup to help with that issue.
There is a lot to love about the vegetables in this soup. They provide a broad spectrum of nutrients, and some, including kale and tomato, increase in nutritional value with cooking. Together they also are very colorful, and appealing to the eyes, which is a psychological lift.
With the contribution of apple cider vinegar, fresh lime and parsley, and their nutritional value and great taste, this soup has enough love to break even the worst case of winter blues.
Veggie Lovin’ Black-Eyed Pea Soup
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
½ cup leek, white part, halved and sliced thin
2 carrots, unpeeled and diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 ½ cup kale, stems removed and sliced thin
1 cup purple cabbage, sliced thin
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, diced
1 lime, zest removed and juiced
¼ cup Italian parsley, stems removed and sliced thin
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt, adjust to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, adjust to taste
1 ½ teaspoon coriander, ground
½ teaspoon chili pepper, adjust to taste
1 quart vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoon safflower, sunflower or olive oil
Heat oil in soup pot over medium high heat and add onion, leek, carrot and garlic. Sauté for about five minutes, or until onion becomes translucent, stirring periodically. Add kale, tomato, cabbage, sundried tomato and seasonings and cook for another 5 minutes. Add vinegar and stir, removing any particles stuck to bottom of pan, and then add stock or water. Allow broth to heat 2-3 minutes, stir, and turn down heat to medium low and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
Taste to test for doneness of vegetables. Once they have reached desired doneness, add lime juice, zest and parsley and adjust seasoning as necessary. Remove from heat and allow to rest for approximately 2 minutes before serving.