Sunday Soup Club
"You don't have to like it, but you do have to try it. You can never know what something is unless you try."
I would like to pay reverence to my mother for paving the way for own personal culinary skills. When I was old enough to hold a knife (5-6yrs old 😬), she put me to work. When I was tall enough to see what was cooking on the stove top with the confidence that I wouldn’t burn 🔥 the house down or myself, it was my turn to embark on my cooking journey.
Cooking is a soul passion of mine. I really only want to cook for people I know and love. If you ask my friends, I’m always sharing meals because I love them. Friends would always make comments on how I should start a brick and mortar, meal service, picnic baskets, and more. Comments on IG would say something like “one day, I’ll eat where you’re cooking”. How many hints can one person take until they act? It’s been decades for me, actually. Partly because I’m not interested in “marrying” a restaurant at this stage in my life. I’m okay with that. The other reason is not knowing how to get out of my own way. Well, something finally changed inside me last year. On September 11, 2023, I finally decided to stop being scared and start sharing more. This is when Sunday Soup Club was birthed.
“one day, I’ll eat where you’re cooking”
Unlike most soup clubs where people take turns submitting recipes or making the soup, I AM the soup club! You have to be invited into this one mainly because I only want to cook for people I know and love. If you know me, I KNOW AND LOVE a lot of people! It warms my heart to feed friends and family nourishing food for their soul.
If you’re reading this it’s because our energies have crossed paths at sometime in this journey. Whether you are near or far, this blog is dedicated to you! Discover heartwarming recipes to nourish your soul through homemade soups. Fresh clean ingredients, natural spring water (it’s not an option), love, and mantras combined for a soulful cooking experience.
Black-Eyed Pea Stew
I want to share a little bit about the first soup of the new year 🌱. If you don’t know, not only am I part asian, I’m also southern 😃. My roots go back to North Carolina. My Korean mother loved food and she was an amazing cook! She made us try everything, not once, but many times. I’m very grateful for those experiences as they have made a huge impact on honoring different cultures and my relationship with food ❤️. We ate a lot asian and soul food growing up. I remember every New Year my mom would make black eyed peas. I would always turn my nose and ask why? She would say “for good luck, health, and prosperity”. The south is a region of king-held superstitions, and this was one of them. They weren’t my favorite as kid mainly because of texture, but I learned to love them in my adult years.
I’d like to start our New Year out with a little bit of luck and cook you some amazing black eyed pea stew with collard greens. When it comes to soul food I’m all in with the goods! Which means I like to cook this dish with smoked ham hocks. For my vegetarian/vegans, I got you 💚.
Here’s some fun facts about the dish: Black eyed peas are eaten at New Years because legend has it that they bring good luck. In addition we add collard greens for financial prosperity, tomatoes for good health, and some cornbread for gold (money to spend).
Before we begin, I have a disclaimer to share. I don’t naturally follow cooking recipes by the book unless it’s baking. My advice to you is that you make it accordingly and intuitively adjust along the way. For example: add more water/stock, spices, salt, time, etc. Recipes are actually guidelines to follow, not rules to heed. Add some veggies, use a different kind of bouillon or stock, mash half the beans to thicken the stew…simply make it your own once you have the base down. Most importantly, enjoy the process, and know that not every batch is going to come out exactly as you imagined. Sometimes they exceed your expectations! Enjoy friends 💚
- Natural Spring Water (measure as needed)
- Black-eyed peas (4-6 cups) – use dried beans and soak overnight in salted spring water
- Onion (1 medium chopped)
- Garlic (about 4-6 cloves mashed)
- Collard Greens (cleaned, chopped)
- Smoked ham hocks (2 good size)
- Bay leaves (2-3)
- Bouillon paste (I like better than bouillon ‘no chicken chicken broth’) – (2-4 tbls depending on how seasoned you want it)
- Cajun seasoning (1-2 tbls)
- Apple cider vinegar (1/8c)
- Cumin (1 tbls)
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Soak the beans overnight in lightly salted spring water 8-12hrs. Drain and set aside
- In a large dutch oven, place ham hocks and bay leaves in 6 cups of spring water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1hr
- Add onion, garlic bouillon, cajun seasoning, cumin, black pepper, and vinegar. Cook for about 15mins on medium heat and taste.
- Add the beans and more water as needed. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for about 1.5hrs. You want the beans to be soft, but not mushy. The stew should be somewhat thick and not too runny, however, it’s up on the consistency.
- Lastly, add the collards and cook on low heat for another 30-60mins.
- Adjust seasonings to taste
Ways to Enjoy:
- Serve over rice
- Add a splash of vinegar and hot sauce
- Make it more soupy by adding broth or water
- Serve as a side to a meal