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Happy New Year everyone!

On New Year’s Eve I stayed at home with Dan. We had one glass of wine, and I have to say, as old as it makes me sound, I really enjoyed having a low-key night.

I rang in the new year cooking black eyed pea soup in my jammies with my best friend and my furry friends. Purrrrrrfect! I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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Cheers world! Happy new year!

I have spent the last 1.5 weeks away from work, and I really needed that time to reflect and de-stress. I think I only left the house a total of 3 or 4 times the entire time I was on vacation. I know this sounds like a nightmare to some, but it was honestly the most rejuvenating thing I have ever done. I feel refreshed for the new year, and ready to embark on some new journeys (if they ever find me!).

Spending all that time at home, though, constantly scouring the kitchen for edibles, made me realize how much food I have in the cupboards that has been sitting there for months. Heck, lets be honest, years even! The remnants of broken culinary dreams … sitting in the back of the dusty cupboard … never seeing the light of day … I must admit, crazy Jessi started feeling sorry for the lonely can of tomato paste, the dusty half-eaten bag of chow mein noodles, the green lentils.

Also, like most SANE people, I hate wasting money. I used to ‘shop’ at the dump when I was a kid ok? I take these things very seriously. So, I decided to embark on a week of frugal eating to help start of the year right.

No grocery shopping, except for fresh produce, for an entire week.

Things might get a bit interesting over here, but I plan on sharing any of the creative recipes that I come up with. You have been warned.

Today’s recipe is Black Eyed Pea Soup, which, if you believe in this sort of stuff, is supposed to be a lucky food to eat on new year’s day.

Ingredients:

2 cups veg broth
2 cups water
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion, chopped
small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Directions:

Rinse the black-eyed peas, pick out any yucky looking ones, and place in a large saucepan. Cover with 2 cups of water and 2 cups of veg broth. Squeeze a little lemon juice into the pot and let sit overnight, or about 8 hours. Once this time has elapsed, bring the water and beans to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the beans are plump and tender, about 30-40 minutes. The longer you soak your beans, the less time it takes to boil them, so make sure you test the beans for tenderness after about 20 mins.

apologies for the poor quality, I had to use my phone!

apologies for the poor quality, I had to use my phone!

Meanwhile, toast the ground coriander and cumin in a small frying pan without oil over medium-low heat until the spices darken a couple of shades and acquire a smoky fragrance. You will love this part because it smells FACKING AWESOME. Remove from heat and set aside.

The toasted spices are on the left.

The toasted spices are on the left.

In the same pan fry chopped onion and garlic together with a little oil until tender. Set aside. Chop your tomatoes, and set aside.

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When the black-eyed peas are tender, stir in the toasted spices along with the tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne, garlic and onions. Bring the mixture to a boil again, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice.

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Let the soup simmer for a couple more minutes to let the flavours mingle (I think I let it cook for another 20 mins or so). You will know its ready when the tomatoes have broken down and the soup thickens up. When ready stir in the fresh coriander and salt to taste. Add a dollop of plain yogurt to the top and enjoy!

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Apparently this recipe serves 4 to 6 – but I think I would be very disappointed if I was only served a sixth of this portion. I would say that if you plan on eating it for dinner, it will happily serve 3 hungry people.

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