Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Southern-Style Beans-and-Rice Soup with Collards

"Southern-Style Beans-and-Rice Soup with Collards" (page 155) might become our new favorite dish to have on New Years Day. On this day in our house we always have black-eyed peas (for good luck), and greens (for prosperity). Here is a dish that puts them both together in a most delicious fashion. This dish is compiled of just a handful of fresh ingredients: black-eyed peas, collard greens, onion, garlic, rice, and broth. I cooked our peas from scratch - they cook up very quickly - but you could use canned, fresh, or frozen just as easily. Omit the oil when sautéing the onions (use a little water, broth, or sherry instead) to keep this within McDougall guidelines. Another change I made was to cook the brown rice first before adding it to the soup. For one thing, the instructions say only 30 minutes is needed to cook the rice once you add it to the pot, but I've never had brown rice cook that quickly (and the recipe does call for brown rice). I also don't have good luck having brown rice cook "done" when it is cooked along with several other ingredients, even if I had increased the cooking time. You may not have to cook the soup for an extra 30 minutes after adding the collards either, depending on how well-cooked you like your greens. I ended up cooking the black-eyed peas from scratch, the greens and rice separately, and throwing everything together afterwards. It does sort of take the simplicity of the preparation away, but from experience, I knew I would be happier with the results. Tabasco sauce is a must to pass around at the table!

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