CHARLOTTE – Many consider Black Eye Peas and Green “Good Luck” when the calendar changes into a new digit – but for many old-timers, it was a part of their meal plan all year long. Many legumes do well in cooler months, and some are early producers as part of the first spring harvest. Greens on the other hand, do notoriously well during the cool months and can be hearty- some would say even meaty with their think stalks and flavorful greens. This recipe can certainly be made into a meal by itself and some crusty bread or can be a part of a larger dinner with family and friends. This recipe is easy to make and uses many products that should be native to this area of the Carolinas. So… pour a glass, put on some good music and make some memories! ~Enjoy!
Black Eye Pea and Mustard Green Soup (serves 6-8)
Prep Time: 20 Minutes | On the Table: 90 Minutes
8 oz. Smoked Thick Cut Hickory Bacon | 1 large Carrot, small dice | 1# Pork Loin
1 large Yellow Onion, small dice | 1 Tomato, medium dice | 2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
3 large NC Sweet Potatoes, peeled and medium dice | 4 Celery stalks, medium dice
1 large bunch Mustad Greens | 32 oz. frozen Black Eye Peas | 1 Jalapeno, minced
2 Bay Leaves | 2 tablespoons Ground Cumin | ½ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
2 teaspoons Sea Salt | 1 tablespoon Fresh Milled Black Pepper
1 gallon Chicken Stock or Broth | 4 oz. Corn Starch
First, you will want to wash your greens really well but cleaning your kitchen sink- (wash it down and rinse it down). Fill your CLEAN sink ½ way with water, and place 1 teaspoon of Iodized Salt into the water and 20 ice cubes. Stir well for 20 seconds. Laying your mustard greens down against your cutting board, you want to clip the bottoms that may have oxidation and may look a little rough. Now, cut the greens down the spine of the stalk, move over an inch on either side and cut down parallel to the stalk cut. Now chop the greens into 1” squares and toss into the icy water. Agitate the water until you get all of the sand and dirt off of the greens. Depending on how dirty the greens are, you may have to repeat this process.
Now- Slice your thick cut Bacon into ½ in squares (cold bacon always cuts easier) and cut your pork loin into ½ inch squares as well. Next- in a large sauté pan on medium-low heat, render off your bacon until the bacon is not crispy, but not raw. Once this occurs, remove the bacon, increase the heat to medium-high and immediately add your pork loin. Sear or Sauté your pork loin in the bacon fat until you get some caramelization on the pork. Remove the pork from the pan, turn down the heat to medium and add in the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, minced jalapeno, crushed red pepper and ground cumin. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onions start to turn translucent. Once this happens, remove the entire pan from the heat.
In a stock pot, add in your sautéed vegetables, bacon, pork, sweet potatoes, black eye peas, washed mustard greens, bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer for 45 minutes. Once this occurs, season with the salt and pepper and add in your diced tomatoes. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Last, take your corn starch in a bowl and add ¼ cup of cold water. Mix this well in the bowl and slowly add to the hot soup. It should thicken slightly. Simmer for another 5 minutes and then remove from heat. For service, place in large soup bowls and garnish with a small amount of sour cream on top along with a crusty baguette and good butter or as part of a larger meal! Share meals together, Food is Life, Food is Love!
Chef Glenn is a corporate chef based in Waxhaw- please send any feedback to email@example.com