I was very spoiled this Christmas, and my kitchen is a much better place for it. I finally got a replacement hand mixer for the one that broke back in October. I also received several cookbooks, a digital kitchen scale, new cookie sheets and muffin pans, and my favorite gift of all, my first pressure cooker! I was inspired to get one by the amazing archive of pressure cooker recipes on FatFree Vegan Kitchen.
First I tried the Yellow Split-Pea Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale. After sauteeing the onion and spices you mix in all of the rest of the ingredients (less the kale) and cook under high pressure for 8 minutes. Just 8 minutes! Without a pressure cooker this recipe calls for an hour of simmering to break down the yellow peas. I am already in love with this rapid cooking method.
While the yellow split-pea soup was great, Susan really struck gold with the Spicy Collard and Black-Eyed Pea Soup. There are also traditional stove top instructions included, so if you do not own a pressure cooker, don't let that stop you from trying this!
Spicy Collard and Black-Eyed Pea Soup
(from FatFree Vegan Kitchen)
2 onions, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 cup diced green bell pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
6 cups water
1 pound collard greens, tough stems removed and greens chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (divided)
1 teaspoon oregano (divided)
1 16-ounce can tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
2 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper -- (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 -2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon double strength tomato paste (or 2 tbsp. regular)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Spray a pressure cooker or large pot with a light coating of olive oil or non-stick spray. (If your pot is non-stick, just add a little water instead.) Heat it and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
Add the black-eyed peas, water, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano.
If using a pressure cooker, seal the cooker and cook for 10 minutes after it reaches high pressure; use a quick-release method to bring down the pressure.Once the peas are tender, add all remaining ingredients and cook for at least 25 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Serve with brown rice with additional hot sauce. (Garnishing with fresh oregano is optional.)
If cooking in a regular pot, cook until peas are tender, about 45-55 minutes.
I have so enjoyed reading your recaps on 2009 over the past week, so I thought I would include one of my own. When I look back at the last twelve months what comes to mind first is traveling. I was fortunate enough to take three amazing trips this year. I have mentioned my two most recent trips which were to New York City and Las Vegas, but I never had the opportunity to share about my trip to China, because that was before I started the blog. In late March my good friend Becca and I went to China for 2 weeks. We started in the north and worked our way south, from Beijing, to Shanghai, and ending in Hong Kong. This was easily my most memorable experience of 2009, so I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite pictures with you.
2009 was a great year, but what I could have never predicted was that joining the food blogging community would be one of the highlights. I started this blog in May, and looking through those first few months it is staggering how far I have come in my culinary experience. I am so pleased with everything that I have learned from you by reading your blogs, and I thank you so much for reading mine and taking this journey with me.
I'll leave you with a list of some of my absolute favorite recipes of 2009, because it wouldn't be a proper recap without it!
Fiery Tofu Marinade, Ginger-Miso Yam Wraps, Chunky Carrot and Squash Soup, Vegan Huevos Rancheros, Spicy Mexi-Meatlessball Soup, Posole Stew, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Matar Paneer.
Happy 2010 friends!