Hearty vegetarian winter soup

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A comforting bowl of hot soup, infused with the nourishing goodness of fresh veggies like kale, celery, carrots, tomatoes and leeks, along with hearty black eyed peas and bread. Flavoured with garlic, cumin, jalapeños and chilly powder.

A meal by itself, it fits the bill to be the perfect and quintessential soup, on a cold and wintry evening. A mix of leafy greens, like supergreen kale, chard and spinach is what I added in my soup. Feel free to use any fresh greens you like, whatever is in season and compliments this soup.

Beans, lentils and legumes are a natural form of protein and are gluten-free. Plus, they are affordable, a great choice for vegans and meat eaters alike. Luckily, growing up in India, lentils and beans have been a staple part of our diet, we had daal, chanas, rajma or kidney beans practically every day. Now living in San Francisco, I try and do the same, feed my family with a daily dose of this natural protein form.

Lobia, as we call it in India, or black eyed peas, marry well in this soup, with the other fresh ingredients and spices. So far, I’ve always made it in a masala curry, quite like chana masala and rajma. My little daughter loves the concept of a ‘clear soup with beans in it’ 🙂 Her first foray in the kitchen, was a recipe she created – Clear chicken broth with kidney beans and corn! She was still too young to understand the goodness of home made chicken stock, thus we took the help of store bought chicken stock in a tetra pack.

This soup is vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. With fresh and simple ingredients, do make and relish a hot cuppa of this delicious soup, to warm the cockles of your heart 🙂

Servings 4-6

Ingredients:

1 large carrot, diced

1 leek, the white part, thoroughly washed and chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

5-6 small San Marzano tomatoes, chopped. Can use any other red tomato variety

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

A couple of handfuls of greens, like kale, chard, spinach, roughly chopped

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1 tsp.finely diced jalapeño or green chile

3/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp red chile powder. I use mild Mexican chile powder.

3/4 tsp cumin powder

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

A couple sprigs fresh thyme

A small cinnamon stick

1 cup dried black eyed peas

Chopped green onion, for garnish

Water

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Soak the black eyed peas in water for 6-8 hour.

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Add to boiling water and simmer till cooked. Drain and reserve the liquid, to add later to the soup. I cook the beans in a pressure cooker, as I do with all beans and legumes.

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In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat a couple tablespoons olive oil. Add the carrots, leeks, celery and sauté for a few minutes, till they soften a bit. Add the thyme and garlic. Sauté for a minute. Add the tomatoes. Add the spices and sauté on medium heat for a couple of minutes.

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Add the reserved liquid and enough water, and let veggies simmer till cooked and tender. Add the black eyed peas and the kale and greens.

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Add salt and pepper. Stir and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Before serving, add the lemon juice ad garnish with fresh green onions.

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