Happy New Year! What, it’s still January isn’t it? Here in Greece we say Happy New Year till February! I hope 2014 turns out to be the year we’ve all been waiting for.
I posted this recipe on The Foodie Corner a while ago, and it was the first recipe of the new year there too. I thought it was appropriate as it sort of represents a few of my goals for my Greek blog. Plus it’s got black eyed beans and greens in it, which are reminiscent of Hoppin’ John – a good luck dish eaten in the States. What better for a New Year’s recipe?
In case you’re wondering what those goals are and how they can be represented by a soup, I’ll explain. This soup is:
1. Healthy. I want to post more healthy recipes (you know, in amongst the chocolate cakes and baked brie).
2. Tasty but also frugal. Planning my food shopping, economising and avoiding waste; all happening in 2014.
3. The recipe is my own. I opened the fridge and let my imagination get a work out (I literally just put whatever I found, in the soup). I like that and want to do more of it.
4. It’s a slow cooker recipe. My slow cookers are going to be getting even more use this year.
5. Did I mention the black eyed beans and greens? Green as in the color of dollars? Yeah. Another goal. Preferably in euro but I won’t be picky.
So here’s my lucky soup recipe. It’s one of the good ones, you know, plop it all in the slow cooker and do something else for the rest of the day! Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Sausage and Black Eyed Bean Soup with Beet Greens
1 c. dried black eyed beans (no need to pre-soak… yay)
1 c. liquid from draining pumpkin puree (I told you, imagination! Obviously you can substitute with water)
3 c. hot water
200 gr. beef sausage, without casings, sliced
1 large handful of beet greens (I used the smaller ones with a thinner stalk, but you can use any of them, they cook for long enough to soften)
1 ½ celery stalk, sliced
½ yellow pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated (I grated it to hide it from The Mister, you can just slice it)
1 ½ Tbs tomato paste (the thick puree that comes in a tube or small can)
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
½ tsp sweet paprika
1 parmesan rind
1 tsp coarse salt
extra grated parmesan for serving (optional)
1. Add all the ingredients apart from the last three (parmesan rind, salt and extra parmesan) to the slow cooker. Turn on low and cook for at least 10 hours, or till the soup is thickened and the beans are soft.
2. Midway add the parmesan rind. (I forgot and added it for the last hour. This was not enough. If you’re going to be away add it in the beginning).
3. Towards the end of cooking, taste the soup and add salt if needed. The sausage may be salty enough (it wasn’t for me). Also they say that salt doesn’t help dry beans to cook, so I thought it would be best added after they have softened.
4. If you want you can use an immersion blender to thicken the soup more. Just pulse once or twice. Or transfer one cup of soup to a blender, pulse, and return to the slow cooker and stir in.
5. Serve with grated parmesan. Feta might be a nice alternative too.