Sukkot (see http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/holiday5.html or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukkot) is a wonderful time to honor the time of harvest. In fact the description of the holiday was one of the inspirations for the Pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving. In the Koshersoul way we take the holiday of Sukkot and use it as a background for traditional Southern ingredients and flavors. If you cannot find the suggested heirlooms, use whats available from your garden, the farmer’s market or a good produce stand. You can really use any cowpeas, field peas, black eyed peas you choose.
Green Glaze are my collard greens of choice–but you may only be able to get your hands on what’s available…kale, Swiss chard and the like work just as well.
Add heirloom tomatoes and you have a simple feast that would go well with cornbread croutons or toasted hearth-style breads.
Why Coriander? Why Marjoram and Oregano?
Black eyed peas and tomatoes both pair well with coriander. It gives them a bright, slightly fruity flavor. Coriander also dances well with black pepper and garlic. Oregano or marjoram are delicious with all three major ingredients, although oregano is stronger. Spices and herbs are the key to making vegetable soups and sauces savory and interesting for anti-floralists living in your household.
Southern Harvest Soup
2 cups of hot-soaked dried cowpeas or black eyed peas….soak in hot water for one hour or so, drain and have ready to cook
vegetable stock–enough to cover the black eyed peas
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
1 1/2 pounds of collard greens, trimmed from the stalk and sliced into thin small strips
2 sprigs of fresh marjoram and oregano…or 2 tsp of dried marjoram or oregano
2 cups of chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes or a 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
kosher salt and black pepper
ground coriander to finish
In a large saucepan add the peas and cover with the vegetable stock and bring to a boil, skimming frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 1 1/4 hours or until quite soft, occasionally stirring gently.
Drain the peas, but retain the stock. Partly mash the peas but do not completely mush them up. You want to release some of the starch, but leave 1/3 of the peas intact. Wipe the saucepan out until clean and reserve it to saute the onions and finish the soup.
Using the same saucepan add gently heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic and shallots and cook them until translucent and fragrant. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of ground coriander. Add the collards and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season again with a pinch of kosher salt, pepper and coriander. Cook slowly until the tomatoes break down into a sauce. If using dried herbs, add them at this stage.
Add the peas and vegetable stock to the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes. If using fresh herbs, add during this stage, but remember remove sprigs when its time to serve. Add final pinches of kosher salt, black pepper and coriander.
So……not kosher? Not vegetarian? Want that other Southern taste…..? Don’t Wanna be trayf?
Trade out the olive oil for good bacon fat…enjoy…! Add two small chopped anchovy fillets for an umami essence. @datadivajf on Twitter suggests a tiny bit of hickory seasoning–TINY bit—for a bit of smokiness (read bacon) and savoriness.