Home Cookin’ – Black-Eyed Pea Soup

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rob archie with soup
Rob Archie

On cold, short winter days, we¬†tend¬†to turn to comfort food for, well, comfort. Food professionals‚ÄĒchefs,¬†bakers,¬†restaurant owners and the like‚ÄĒare no different. At this time of year, homey braises, filling pastas and¬†old-fashioned desserts are on¬†their menus¬†at home. When we asked local food pros to share their favorite winter dishes, the ones they serve family and friends, we got recipes¬†that run the gamut¬†from an intoxicatingly¬†complex pork-and-hominy stew¬†to¬†a¬†simple¬†meal ender¬†of wine-poached pears¬†with mascarpone whipped cream. Delish!

When Rob Archie was growing up, his grandmother used to make a rich, nourishing black-eyed pea soup. Later, his wife took over the soup-making duties. Archie, who owns three Sacramento restaurants (Pangaea Bier Caf√©, Urban Roots and Bawk), looks forward to eating this soup every winter. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs warm, wholesome and delicious,‚ÄĚ he says.

¬Ĺ pound bacon, sliced
1 hot link, diced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 ham shank or ham hock
1 pound dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in water, drained and rinsed
3 cups chicken bone broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon Knorr Caldo de Pollo seasoning
2‚Äď3 teaspoons
red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
¬Ĺ teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2‚Äď3 cups chopped collard, mustard and/or turnip greens
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Parmesan cheese

In a frying pan, cook bacon over medium heat until it begins to brown. Add hot link and cook until bacon and hot link render their fat and begin to crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove meats from pan and place on a paper towel to drain.

In the same pan, add the oil to the bacon fat and saut√© the onion, bell pepper, celery and carrots over medium heat until softened, 2‚Äď3 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except the greens, tomatoes, salt and pepper to the pan and stir. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low until the black-eyed peas are tender, 2‚Äď3 hours.

Remove the ham shank/hock. Take the meat off the bone, chop it up and add it back to the pot. Discard the bone.

Stir in the greens and canned diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue simmering until greens are cooked through. Top with shaved Parmesan and serve.

SERVES 8‚Äď10

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