Welcome to the first week of the new year. I don’t know about you, but the mister and I ate well these past couple months! This time, I don’t mean well in the nutritional sense, I mean well in the tasty carb-laden sense. January is the time I like to bring myself back into balance. In these winter months, I’m usually looking for something to fill me up, warm me up, and satisfy my craving for food that comforts, without using heavier meats, carbs and creamy dairy. That’s where knowing how to coax and prod ingredients together is key.
Today’s soup is the definition of slow food. It’s meant for one of those days where you can give the ingredients time to transform–roast and caramelize, lazily simmer… It’s best to be made while you laze or work around the house, breathing in the smells, taking momentary breaks to chop or saute. Roasted vegetable stock is a secret weapon that every full- or part-time vegetarian should have in their arsenal. I make the stock whenever I’m looking for caramelized fullness, adding a layer of depth to soup or sauce.
You can choose between two different variations of this soup: the vegan version or the turkey sausage version. I use the turkey sausage when I’m looking for a more filling soup with an added layer of savoriness, and the vegan version when I’m just in the mood for vegetables. Either variation will satisfy your craving for healthy comfort food during these chilly winter months.
I hope the new year brings you everything the ingredients in this soup represent; peas for prosperity, greens for money, and healthy ingredients married together to satisfy your belly and make your body happy!
Lucky Black Eyed Pea, Turkey Sausage and Kale Soup
Although this is slow food, be sure to read through the steps first in order to avoid making it slow-er food! The black eyed peas will need to soak overnight (or quick soak for 2-3 hours). While the half the vegetables are being roasted for the stock, the other half can be simmering while the beans are cooking.
- 1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight or quick-soaked (see note)
- 1/2 pound ground turkey sausage (optional)
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14.5 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glenn brand)
- 6-8 cups roasted root vegetable stock (recipe follows)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or 3/4 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional to taste
- 1 bunch dino kale (aka: Lacinato), torn into 1 1/2 inch pieces (discard the thickest parts of the stem)
- 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
1. Make the roasted root vegetable stock (recipe follows)
2. Drain and rinse the soaked beans (this step can be done while the broth simmers). Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with 2-inches cold water. Bring to a boil, then cook at a simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, until beans are tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
3. For the turkey sausage version only (otherwise, skip to step two): heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium high heat. Add the turkey sausage to the pan, breaking it into smaller pieces with a spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked through and browned. Remove the sausage to a plate and set aside.
4. Heat the remaining oil in a large dutch oven or saucepan until shimmering. Add the diced onion, carrot, parsnip and celery. Saute for 8-10 minutes until the root vegetables are crisp tender and onion is softened. Add the garlic and saute, stirring constantly, for an additional minute. Add the tomatoes, cooked black eyed peas, cooked turkey sausage, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, thyme, bay leaves, and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Add 6-8 cups broth (you may need more if using turkey sausage).
5. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for an hour.
6. Add the torn kale and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the kale is cooked but still holds its shape.
7. Add the red wine vinegar, and season to taste with additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
Roasted Root Vegetable Stock
Adapted from The Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley
Makes about 6-8 cups
- 2 pounds carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 pounds yellow onions, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 head garlic, separated into cloves (unpeeled)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 1/2 quarts cold water
- 1 pound parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small turnip, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 celery rib with its leaves, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- In a medium bowl, toss together half the carrots, parsnips, onions, and garlic cloves with the oil, and spread them across one or two baking sheets. Roast for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are well caramelized.
- In the meantime, put the remaining vegetables, along with 2 quarts of the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the other half of the vegetables are finished roasting.
- Add the roasted vegetables and an additional 6 cups water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.
- Strain the stock and discard the solids.