The first time I went to New Orleans, it was summer time. It was the 1990's. Street performers were on every corner. A little kid tap danced his heart out. A man played his saxophone for anyone who would listen. And while the French Quarter was positively beautiful, the thing I remember most was the Tabasco Country Store, because when it comes down to it, I've always been a foodie! I was captivated by the number of Tabasco products, and that there was an entire store devoted to hot sauce. Whether you love the Tabasco brand or not (I admit, I am partial to Louisana!), it's neat to checkout a store entirely devoted to hot sauce.
This soup is inspired by the spicy flavors often associated with Cajun cuisine. The "holy trinity" of Cajun food (green pepper, onion, and celery) makes an appearance. Black-eyed peas, sweet corn, and fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles bring it together. All in all, it's a hearty soup that cooks up fast, and tastes delicious with your favorite cornbread on the side. And it's perfect for when your garden explodes, because it uses so much fresh, summer produce.
I used Spicely Organic Spices Cajun Seasoning for this recipe. It has the following spices in the blend: paprika, pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cayenne. You can buy a blend or make your own, if it's hard to find where you are! I also added a hint of smoked paprika to this soup, because it really rounded out the flavor and brought this soup to the next level. For a variation, add ½ cup of broken, dehydrated soy curls to the soup when you add the tomatoes, broth and water. Yum!
Cajun Black-Eyed Pea Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cob of sweet corn with corn cut off the cob OR ⅓ cup frozen sweet corn
1 ½ -2 tsp Cajun seasoning (see note above)
¼-½ tsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
1 14 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles (I used Muir Glen)
3 cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)
1 cup water
1 15 ounce can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp+ lemon juice
1. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add olive oil, onions and garlic with a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium heat for ~5 minutes. Add Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and bay leaves, and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add green pepper, red pepper, celery and sweet onion, and sauté for 5 more minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, broth and water. Bring to boil over high heat. Once boiling, add black-eyed peas, cover with a lid, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in lemon juice, and taste. Adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve with your favorite cornbread.