Curried Black-Eyed Peas and Vegetable Soup

In several traditions Black-Eyed Peas are supposed to bring luck. In Southern cooking, it is customary to cook black-eyed peas for New Year’s as a good omen. Also according to Jewish tradition cooking black-eyed peas during Rosh Hashanah brings good luck. I am Indian and even though I have never heard of any such tradition in India, I just decided to cook some today for the fun of it. If they bring me luck, I’d be happy and if they don’t, I still get a tasty and healthy dinner out of them!


1.    2 cups of dry black-eyed peas (or two frozen packets
2.    One medium onion or half a large onion
3.    1.5 tablespoons of tomato paste
4.    ½ of a red bell pepper
5.    ½ of a yellow bell pepper
6.    One large carrot or two medium sized carrots.
7.    One small zucchini
8.    4 cloves of garlic
9.    1 inch long ginger root
10.    1.2 teaspoon Garam Masala (spice blend available at all Indian stores)
11.    1 teaspoon turmeric powder
12.    ½ teaspoon red chili powder
13.    ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
14.    One fresh green chili
15.    1 teaspoon of sugar
16.    Salt to taste
17.    Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil



1.    If you are using dry beans, wash and soak them in warm water overnight but if you are using frozen beans, proceed to the next step.

2.    Heat 4 cups of water in a large sauce pan and pour the beans into this pot. Add salt and one large carrot sliced into pieces. Let the beans cook over medium heat for about 40-45 minutes (or until they are fork tender).
3.    In a large pan pour the extra virgin olive oil and heat it over medium heat.
4.    Peel and chop the onion into fine pieces.

5.    Pour the chopped onion pieces into the pot with hot oil and stir.

6.    Peel and chop the garlic cloves.
7.    When the onion pieces are translucent (takes about 10-12 minutes on medium heat), add the chopped garlic to the pot and stir. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

8.    Peel and grate the ginger root.

9.    Add the various spices (turmeric, chili powder, garam masala), grated ginger root and the tomato paste and stir.
10.    To this pot, add the cooked beans and carrots (including all the liquid) and stir. Check for salt. Let this soup cook for 4-5 minutes.

11.    Finely chop the bell peppers

12.    Add the chopped bell pepper to the soup and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

13.    Finely chop the zucchini and add that to the soup. Stir and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

14.    Add the sugar and taste for a balance of sweet, savory and tart and adjust the amounts according to your taste.
15.    Pour a little bit of extra virgin olive oil on top of the soup. Garnish with a green chili and some sour cream and serve while the soup is still hot.


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