Black Eyed Pea Soup
75 Min

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Ever since I tasted it upon arriving from India and discovering the health benefits, I embraced cooking with olive oil. Over the years, I continued experimenting with what spices work best with it. When my son Virag spent a semester in Spain, he brought back a freshly harvested bottle by his host mother’s family’s olive groves. It forever changed the way I look at the green elixir. As with all food, knowing the source makes all the difference.

Early this year, I was introduced to a local impassioned olive-oil aficionado from Tuscany who spends every fall traveling through parts of Europe to bring back the best-tasting oils. I finally understood how to taste olive oil (swish it in a tiny glass and drink it straight up), the subtleties of single origin and how much high-heat cooking or terroir affect the flavor, whether whisked into a salad dressing or drizzled on stews and pilafs.

Drizzled on this good-luck black-eyed pea soup, a single-origin olive oil with strong notes of fruitiness, bitterness and pungency beautifully complements the sweetness of the cardamom, cinnamon and carrots. Here’s to ending a memorable yet forgettable year and lessons learned. May we all emerge stronger and more enlightened.

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Cook Time

75 Minutes



Step 1
Soak the black-eyed peas in 3 to 4 cups of water for 3 to 4 hours or preferably overnight. Drain.
Step 2
Combine with 4 to 6 cups of water and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the beans simmer covered for 45 minutes to an hour or until the beans are tender.
Step 3
In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and pop the cardamom seeds. Immediately add the onions.
Step 4
Cook the onions on high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, they should be wilted and slightly brown. Then, add the minced garlic, carrots, and potatoes. Cook on high for 5 to 7 minutes, then add the turmeric, cumin, and chile powder. Within a minute or two, add this masala to the beans.
Step 5
Bring the mixture to a boil and add the tomatoes, coconut milk, 3 to 4 cups of water and bring the entire mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes. The consistency should be soupy yet chunky.
Step 6
Add the rosemary and cinnamon and taste the soup – add salt if needed. Turn off the heat. Mince the greens and herbs and add to the soup. Drizzle with finishing olive oil just before serving.
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, slightly crushed
1 cup minced onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
One 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt or to taste
1 large bunch of greens such as kale, chard, or watercress
Small handful of herbs
Finishing olive oil

Notes & Variations

  • Here are the two oils I have been cooking with for quite some time — at home and at the restaurant. Entimio Italiano imports award-winning, unique extra-virgin oils from Tuscany that work great as finishing oils for salads and roasted meats. Roots olive oil is a brand brought in by a Greek enthusiast from the Messenia province of Greece that works well as a cooking oil.
  • Serve the soup on its own or with a side of warm crusty bread or rice.
  • The soup is best eaten the day it is prepared.
75 Min

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Uncommon in Indian cooking, however versatile rosemary can be an interesting addition to cakes & cookies with its slightly acidic flavor & strong piney & oily fragrance. Check it out in the recipes below!