Black-eyed pea and kale soup with cheesy croutons
We feel like better, more virtuous people for eating a soup like this. Look at all the good stuff in it! You could easily swap any little white bean for the black-eyed peas. It tastes better the next day—if you are on the ball and plan ahead, prepare it up to the point of adding the kale, then cool and refrigerate overnight (or for up to two days). Reheat on the stovetop and when it’s steaming, add the kale and serve.
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ¼ cup (60 mL) olive or canola oil
- 4 to 6 thick slices crusty French or Italian bread
- ¼ to ½ cup (60 to 125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
- Canola or olive oil, for cooking
- 1 onion or leek, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
- 14 oz (398 mL) can diced or stewed tomatoes
- 3 cups (750 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups (500 mL) cooked black-eyed peas or white beans, or a 19 oz (540 mL) can, rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch kale, washed and thinly sliced (discard the ribs)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 º F (200 º C).
To make the croutons: Put the garlic clove into a small dish with the oil and let it sit for a few minutes to infuse the oil. Place the bread on a baking sheet and brush both sides with the infused oil; bake for 10 minutes, until golden. Take the sheet out of the oven, flip the bread over, and sprinkle with cheese, then return the pan to the oven for a few minutes, until the cheese melts.
To make the soup: Heat a drizzle of oil in a heavy pot set over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, stock, and beans and bring to a simmer.
Add the kale and stir; cook for a minute or two, until the kale wilts. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot, topping each bowl with a cheesy crouton.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Adapted from Spilling the Beans: Cooking and Baking with Beans and Grains Every Day by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan (Whitecap 2011). Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.