Faced with a stuffy head and scratchy throat, I knew I needed soup for dinner last night.
Monday night, I had soaked some black-eyed peas (as per tradition); but never got around to making them on New Year’s Day. I was determined to make them anyway because eating black-eyed peas at New Year’s is good luck and I’ll take whatever good luck I can find. I also had leftover diced tomato and red onion from Tuesday’s brunch feast. You thinking what I’m thinking? Well, I’m thinking about how to be independently wealthy; but maybe you’re thinking I combined those ingredients and made soup…then you would be right! Yay for you!
I made this an extra easy process by using some store-bought things and I really liked the way it turned out. Rather than going the Southern or Cajun route (as I normally would with black-eyed peas) I went the Italian route and it was perfect. Creamy tomato cheese base with the heartiness of the peas with hints of basil, garlic and onion.
Sounds pretty lucky to me.
Tomato, Cheese and Peas Soup
Next add the black-eyed peas. I had soaked them overnight per the package instructions; but you can quick soak them as well.
Next, add your liquids. I found this in the soup aisle at my local Kroger and thought it looked interesting. It felt a little “can o’ cream of mushroom soup” to me; but it wasn’t too cloying and added the right consistency to the soup. Win!
Add one carton (about 32 oz) of plain tomato soup along with the cheese recipe starter. I also added about 2 cups of water to thin everything out. Sprinkle liberal amounts of salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 30-45 minutes. I advise watching “Nashville: The Whole Story” while you wait. Finally, add some finely chopped fresh basil and scallions. I prefer to add my green things at the end so they stay bright green.
Cook together for another 5 minutes or so. At this point, I used my immersion blender and blended about half the soup. I wanted to thicken it; but I wanted to keep some of the texture as well. An immersion blender is basically awesome. You should get one.
Here’s the recipe all neat-like for you.
Tomato Cheese and Peas Soup
1 tbs olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, diced (hey, we’re fighting a cold here!)
1 red onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 cup pre-soaked black-eyed peas
(Chick Peas or Great Northern beans would work as well)
32oz tomato soup (any brand)
18oz Progresso Recipe Starter 3-Cheese Blend
small handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 bunch scallions, green and white parts, chopped
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper
Parmesan Cheese (for serving)
Heat olive oil in deep stockpot. Add garlic, onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Cook until onions are soft; about 3-4 minutes. Add black-eyed peas, tomato soup and 3-Cheese blend. Bring up to a boil; then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes until peas are soft and soup has reduced slightly. Stir in basil and scallions, cook for another 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree about half the soup only, to leave some texture (or puree it completely if you prefer). If you’re using a regular blender; be sure to wait until soup has cooled slightly before pureeing half the batch (then add back to the soup pot). Serve with Parmesan cheese and black pepper. You could stir in cooked pasta or brown rice for a heartier soup as well. Makes 10, 1-cup servings.