Curried Cauliflower and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Curried Cauliflower and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Serving black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. Because they swell with cooking, the peas are considered to represent growing prosperity in the New Year and are sometimes believed to represent coins as well. Frequently the peas are served with cooked greens, particularly collard greens, which symbolize money, and cornbread — representing gold. Whether these delightful legumes bring good luck or not, the meal was certainly an enjoyable one. I never need a particular reason to cook with black-eyed peas, but here's hoping for peace and inspiration for 2014.

Combining vegetables and legumes in a warming soup is a simple solution to providing a nourishing meal in the cold weather months and a cold and harsh winter it has been thus far. The curry spices not only add an extra layer of warmth to the soup experience, they lend an attractive coloring as well. Savor a bowl of this soup and focus on the warmth, rather than the frigid snowscape just outside your window.

Cauliflower goes especially well with north Indian curry spices; the taste and texture of this gently cooked vegetable absorbs the spices and provides a wonderful contrast with the sweet, earthly and slightly nutty flavor of the black-eyed peas. Simple, fragrant and bursting with goodness.

Curried Cauliflower and Black-Eyed Pea SoupCurried Cauliflower and Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on January 6, 2014

A fragrant, colorful and nourishing curried cauliflower and black-eyed pea soup that is as simple as it is delicious

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes

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  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee, butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into 1 1/2 inch florets
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
  • generous handful of dried curry leaves, crumbled
  • 3 to 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Rinse the black-eyed peas and soak in several inches of water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until just tender — about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Heat the ghee, butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and stir for 30 to 60 seconds until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop.

  • Add the shallot, fresh chilies and ginger, and stir for a few minutes to soften the shallot. Now add the coriander, turmeric, cumin and chili powder, and stir for another minute until fragrant.

  • Add the cauliflower and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 10 minutes until the cauliflower is just tender.

  • Add the tomatoes and curry leaves, and continue to cook, stirring often, for another 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked black-eyed peas and pour in the water or vegetable stock (3 cups if you want a thicker soup or 4 cups for a thinner soup). Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Stir in the garam masala, lemon juice and salt. Cover again and let simmer for another few minutes before turning off the heat. Let the soup sit for a few minutes and then serve hot, garnished with parsley or cilantro if desired.

Makes 5 to 6 servings

Curried Cauliflower and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

More Indian cauliflower dishes you are sure to enjoy:
Aloo Gobi (Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes)
Indian-Style Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf
Cauliflower and Pea Curry
Spicy Urad Dal with Cauliflower and Peas

On the top of the reading stack: The Vegetarian's Complete Quinoa Cookbook: From the Ontario Home Economics Association

Audio Accompaniment: Kolsch


Joanne said...

I feel like I rarely see black-eyed peas paired with curry flavors around new year's, so I'm loving it here! Such a tasty soup!

Unknown said...

Ooh this looks wonderful, spices, deep and mellow. Would love you to enter it to tr fabfusionfood challenge! Xx

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Looks nice recipe...

basil said...

Delicious, thanks for the recipe!