Friday, February 6, 2009

Black-Eyed Pea Soup and Oven Fries

So you want to eat nutritious, healing foods AND need to eat gluten-free? Look no further. Having simple, easy-to-prepare recipes like these can make this type of lifestyle very doable.

Here is a little secret recipe of mine. Well not so secret anymore. I have been making this soup for many years, I think about 9, and for some reason forgot to include it in our cookbook. Black-eyed peas are a wonderfully easy legume to cook with because they require no soaking. So don't fret if its 5pm and you are in a quandary as to what to make for dinner. As long as you have some very basic ingredients stocked in your kitchen you can have dinner ready by six.

I vividly remember the first time I made this soup for Tom. We were still in school then and pregnant with our first daughter, Lily. It was a chilly day in October and he was at school and work all day. I maybe had a class or two, don't quite remember. I do remember, though, that this day I created my pumpkin pie recipe (now in our cookbook). It was a very good first attempt and before putting it the cookbook I made many modifications to get it just right. Well that was dessert. For the meal, I made this soup (recipe to follow), corn muffins, and braised greens. You can only imagine the delight in his eyes coming home to a warm kitchen filled with sweet and spicy smells and the dining room table set for two with a bountiful meal. Oh food, glorious food!

Curious about the nutrient value of black-eyed peas?

Well, like other legumes black-eyed peas boast cholesterol-lowering fiber. In addition, this very same fiber prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, hypoglycemia, or insulin resistance.

This soup is also an excellent choice if you are on Phase 3 of Tom's 28-Day Elimination and Detoxification Diet. It can be eaten once peppers (nightshades) have been introduced back into the diet.

So let's get cooking!

We like to serve this soup with a number of things (not necessarily all at the same meal). Sometimes we make Apple Spiced Collard Greens from our cookbook. Sometimes we serve it with brown rice, other times polenta. And occasionally (our children's favorite) we serve the soup with Oven Fries (a mix of yams and potatoes). Note: the Oven Fries recipe can be found on page 205 of our cookbook.

Someone recently inquired about gluten-free spices. Click here for a list of companies that offer gluten-free spices, baking extracts and flavorings, and spice mixes.

Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Soup

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dry black-eyed peas
8 to 10 cup water
3 to 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cups (or so) broccoli florets
3 teaspoons sea salt or Herbamare

In a large (8 quart) stock pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 6 to 7 minutes or until very soft. Add garlic and spices. Saute a minute more.

Then add beans and water, cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Add carrots and cook for about 10 to 15 more minutes. Add red pepper and broccoli and simmer until vegetables are tender and beans are cooked, about 45 minutes total cooking time.

Add salt to taste and remove from heat. We like to sprinkle extra chili flakes on top of our bowls for an added kick!

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Yummy! Can't wait to try this. Going shopping today, now I will put black-eyed peas on my grocery list. Thanks!

  2. Oh, you've hit on one of my absolute faves, Ali ... black-eyed peas. Broccoli is another fave. I would never have thought of putting the two together. I feel silly for saying that, but it's true. The combo looks terrific. I am going to plan to make this recipe soon (once things settle down after our Valentine's Day party). I can only imagine your husband coming home to that award-worthy meal so long ago. :-) Start making a list for your next cookbook and be sure to include this one!


  3. This soup looks very healthy, looking forward to making it. I'll report back to let you know how we all liked it. I am sure its delish!

  4. This recipe rocks!!!!!! I made it the other night and my hubby loved it! I love spice so we added extra chili flakes as you suggested. I couln't believe how tasty the broth was with all of that cumin.

    Such a simple recipe and yet so good. Thank you again Ali for your amazing recipes!!

  5. Thanks for posting such great recipes! We love this one in our house (especially my 15 month old who is obsessed with beans!). I put kale instead of broccoli in it because we have an abundance in our veggie garden and it was really good too!


Join the Conversation!

I'd love to hear your feedback with my recipes. If you make any changes or substitutions then please share what you did so others can learn.

If you have a question about a recipe, please leave it here. I will do my best to answer it when I have time.

Comment moderation is in place. Your comment will be only be visible here once I publish it.

Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)