What a lovely Indian summer of a week this is. Jack Frost has been visiting Ranui Gardens most nights but has backed off for a spell while we enjoy glorious blue-ribbon days. Mild frosts in fact benefit kale and collards, which are in John’s mess o’ greens mix: these hardy greens become sweeter after they’ve been frost kissed. We can enjoy this substantial soup with a southern accent on our crisp-cool evenings.
It’s easy to cook black-eyed peas if you prefer them over canned: start with ½ pound of dried beans. Rinse the beans and put them in a large pot with about 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 45 minutes or so, until tender. If you use a pressure cooker, black-eyed peas cook in 10 to 11 minutes. This recipe is adapted from one in Moosewood Restaurant Low-fat Favorites cookbook.
8 ounces Mess o’Greens, or collard greens or kale
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, red or yellow, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes (about 2 cups)
2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (3 to 4 cups)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon Real Salt
2 cups cooked brown rice
Rinse the greens well and remove the coarse stems. Chop coarsely and set aside.
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Stir in the onions and cook and stir until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook and stir another minute or so. Add the vegetable stock, chopped greens, tomatoes and their juice, black-eyed peas, vinegar, brown sugar, thyme, allspice, hot pepper sauce and salt. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the rice and simmer another 5 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and hot pepper sauce, if desired.
Makes about 4 servings.