There’s no way around the truth of it: Soup is good for the body, mind, heart and spirit…anytime, especially on a snowy day. The amount of vitamins, minerals and protein simmering within a bowl of soup is as astounding as the inexpense of what can be a complete meal. It is easy to make, involving no other skills than shopping, slicing, sautéing, simmering, serving and slurping.
Dorotheos of Gaza (I’m Sorry) Soup 10-12 servings
2 c. dry black eyed peas (3 cans cooked) 1 head Bok Choy, sliced 1 onion, sliced 3 cloves garlic, sliced 1 lg. red pepper, sliced 3 Tbsp. olive oil 1-2 tsp. fenugreek seed, crushed 1 tsp. fennel seed, crushed 1 tsp. cumin 2 tsp. Joyful Hermit’s Culinary Herbals™ 1 qt. chicken broth 3-4 c. water 2 c. kale, chopped 1/2 tsp. white pepper salt, to taste feta cheese, crumbled, for garnish
For this healthy, savory, cabbage-legume soup, begin by rinsing and straining the black-eyed peas, and then follow other package directions. (Soak overnight or parboil 5 minutes and let stand an hour prior to further simmering with soup until beans are edible).
Once the beans are readied, we gather this substantive soup’s vegetables: Bok Choy, kale, red pepper, and onion. Let’s try fenugreek and fennel seeds (which, incidentally, benefit lactating mothers). While you may use the ground form of these herbal seeds, I crush them with a mortar and pestle, and then sauté lightly in a non-oiled, small skillet. Other seasonings include white pepper, sea salt, cumin, and at least three garlic cloves. Don’t forget: try some of Joyful Hermit’s Culinary Herbals™ with your soup!
I purchased on clearance a jar of grilled red peppers packed in olive oil and placed them in a large pot, as the base upon which to build this soup. Otherwise, use olive oil to sauté the sliced garlic, onion, and red pepper. (Red peppers contain larger amounts of the prized lycopene than what is found in green peppers; and red gives dynamic color contrast.) Add other seasonings–except the salt, pepper and Joyful Hermit Culinary Herbals™–in this initial step. Then slice the head of Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) and gently sauté before adding a quart of chicken broth. I use whatever broth is on sale; but if it is Thai Chicken broth, omit the curry and cumin. You may also wish to substitute vegetable broth.
Next add the pre-cooked black-eyed peas, and adjust the liquid by pouring in 3-4 cups water. This may be done gradually as the beans will swell as they cook. Allowing the beans to simmer with the seasonings, broth, and Bok Choy, the flavors blend. As well, this provides the required time for releasing the benefits of the red peppers and cabbage. When the beans are softly edible, add the chopped kale and allow to steam until barely tender, along with 1-2 tsp., crushed, culinary herbals. Before serving add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with crumbled feta cheese.
Enjoy! And don’t be at all sorry you made and ate this frugal-yet-hearty soup!
Note: Why call this soup Dorotheos of Gaza (I’m Sorry) Soup? For more information on Dorotheos of Gaza, go to the post featuring this hermit. As to his sage advice on how to respond when rightly or wrongly accused, here’s a reminder. Rightly accused, say, “I did it, I am sorry, please pray for me. Wrongly accused, say, “I am sorry, please pray for me.” Thus, the reason for the (sorry) title of this soup!