Reposted with permission by Andrea Lussing
The weather is most definitely changing. I'm disappointed to admit that I'm seeking warmth these days- warm sweaters, wool socks, hot baths and now a hot soupy bean stew. This creation is verging on chili, but has a totally different, Thanksgiving inspired flavour and I've used dried organic black eyed peas versus canned beans that I usually use for chili. Even with the dried peas, it was ready in about an hour.
You can see from the photo that I often make more than I should for just one person, but it's great to have something healthy and satisfying to take for lunches and eat for dinners for a few nights in a row and not have to worry about cooking... though I think it's safe to say that I never 'worry' about cooking. Maybe that will change when I have a whole family to feed every night of the week.
So, for this meal I used dried organic black eyed peas. I rinsed them and tossed about 2 cups of dried peas into plenty of unsalted water and brought it all to a boil and boiled for about 10 min. At the same time, in a large soup pot, I used what was in my fridge as a veggie base. You could mix it up with any veggies you have, but I cut up one onion and sauteed it on med. heat until soft, then tossed in a few cloves of minced garlic and 4 peeled and finely cubed carrots. After the carrots and garlic were on the stove for about 5 minutes, I cubed 3 green tomatoes and let those saute too. I would have put in a pepper or two, maybe some celery or even zucchini or kale, but this is what I had! Be creative!
I added veggie stock cubes (about 4), 5 bay leaves, about a tablespoon of dried thyme, oregano and rosemary to the sauteing veggies. I'd chop up the rosemary sprigs cause they can be a little bitter and tough if you chew down on them. Fresh herbs would be great, but I used all mine up for my Thanksgiving creations. I drained the water from the beans in the first pot and rinsed them off and then tossed them into my larger pot with the veggies and spices. Then I added enough water to cover the beans by a few centimeters. I let that simmer for about 45 min. and then everything seemed to be soft! I added a large can of diced tomatoes to add a little sweetness and freshness at the end and served the whole thing with lots of real Parmesan cheese. You could add salt but I found that it didn't need it.
This was a very casual, roughly made dinner that worked out really well. My parents stopped in last night for a cup of tea and I 'encouraged' them to taste it and they enjoyed it. I also got a few "that looks delicious" comments at the lunch table at work today which is always a good sign. I'd say be loose with this, create a consistency that you want, play around with some flavourings and enjoy the goodness of healthy black eyed peas!