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South meets Southwest: Black-Eyed Peas & Lime-Seared Steak Soup November 15, 2011

Black-Eyed Peas & Collard Greens meet Cilantro & Lime

This soup combines elements of the traditional southern black-eyed peas and collard greens soup with southwestern flavors of cilantro and lime. I traded the traditional pork or bacon of the “Hoppin’ John” for some lean cut 100% grass-fed beef marinated in fresh lime juice. The meat here is used as an accent flavor; the black-eyed peas are the stars of this dish. Enjoy throughout the fall and winter but bookmark this dish for January 1st. The recipe makes a wonderful New Year’s Eve dish as black-eyed peas are celebrated by many as a “lucky” food to begin the new year.

Black-Eyed Peas & Lime-Seared Steak Soup
with collard greens & cilantro

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup frozen chopped collard greens
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 9 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 shallots chopped (optional but suggested)
  • 0.5 lb 100% grass-fed stir-fry beef strips
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh cilantro
  • juice of 2 fresh limes
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Methods

The Night Before: Rinse 1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas and soak in a large pot for at least 4 hours. I normally leave the beans to soak covered overnight. Place fresh 100% grass-fed beef, sliced thin in a zip-lock bag or container with a full lime’s worth of lime juice. Store in the fridge overnight.

1. Strain soaked black-eyed peas and add to large pot with about 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about an hour stirring occasionally.

2. In a large stir-fry pan, begin searing lime-marinated beef at medium heat.  Crush and chop garlic into thin slices and add about 3 of the 9 cloves to your pan with the beef. Toss in a few rinsed fresh cilantro leaves as well. If you have the optional shallots, chop these and add to your pan. Add 1/4 cup of your vegetable broth (I love Pacific Natural Foods Organic Vegetable Broth- low sodium) to the pan and cover, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until beef is fully cooked.

3. When black-eyed peas have cooked (after simmering for about 60 minutes) strain, rinse, and return to large pan with the remainder of your 4 cups vegetable broth. Bring heat to medium high. Rinse 2 handfuls of cilantro (also known as coriander) thoroughly and add to your soup pan. Also add  1 cup frozen chopped collard greens, the remaining garlic, and the lime juice from the second lime.

4. Stir in beef and spike with a dash of cayenne pepper.

Amply provides enough to serve 4.

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Zucchini & Fennel Soup October 29, 2011

Zucchini & Fennel Bulb offset Onion and pan-seared Tomato complemented by a spalsh of Lime

Zucchini & Fennel Soup
with fresh lime & pan-seared tomato

Fall and winter in New England are ripe for soup season. The first frosty weekend blew in to Boston this week (including our first snow sighting). Time to get cozy- and try some new soups!

Ingredients (adapted from this Bon Appétit recipe)

– 1 whole onion, chopped
– 1 whole fennel bulb, chopped
-1 whole zucchini, chopped
-2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
-1 whole tomato, chopped
-2 cups brewed green tea (no sugar)
– 1 fresh lime
– pinch of fresh  thyme (optional)
-dash of salt & pepper

Methods

1. Chop onion, fennel bulb, and zucchini and add to large saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil set at medium heat.  To save time you can chop the three veggies in that order and add them to the pan as they are chopped. Stir frequently to evenly cook added ingredients.

2.While onion, fennel, bulb, and zucchini are cooking, chop tomato and add to a separate pan with 1 tbsp olive oil and a few fresh thyme leaves (optional).

3. Once fennel and onions become translucent, add in thyme and squeeze in the juice from one fresh lime. Stir and pour in 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth.

4. While ingredients are cooking, brew 2 cups of unsweetened green tea. (You can just fill a mug with boiling water and a green tea bag, allow the tea to steep for a 2-3 minutes, add to the pan and repeat.

5. Reduce heat to low and, using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients together. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can transfer the mixture to a regular blender to blend then pour back into your large pot in stages. Add in your dash of salt and pepper to your blended soup.

6. Finally, pour into bowls and garnish with fresh fennel greens and the pan-seared tomato. Serve hot.

Time Saver Tip: Fresh, Fridge, Freeze. Fill your bowl (and others to be served) with hot soup to enjoy fresh. Immediately place a couple of extra servings in a microwave-safe container and put away in the fridge. The remaining soup can go in a freezer/microwave-safe container and stashed in the freezer for a later meal. Be sure to label and date!