Cooking black-eyed beans or any dry beans from scratch can seem like a chore. But with a little forethought and a slow cooker it’s super easy!
Taking the time to soak, cook, salt & steep has them literally melt off the spoon. Start a few days before you want to serve them. I generally soak over a day. Refresh the water and cook overnight in the slow cooker. Salt and steep for a day. Then cook them up that evening.
You can use this technique for kidney beans, chickpeas, aduki beans … and these black-eyed beans.
Key ingredients for this recipe are a good stock (I used Massel beef-style), smoked paprika and liquid smoke.
Liquid smoke is best introduced gradually. A teaspoon is a lot so don’t be liberal – it can go terribly wrong if you use too much! You’ll find it in specialty food stores and health food shops.
Serve as a soup or as a stew with your favourite grain or polenta.
Black eyed beans with smoky southern flavours
2 cups black eyed peas
1 large onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
6 new potatoes sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp jalapenos, chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp hickory liquid smoke
1-2 cups beef-style broth (Massel) + cooking water from beans
Handful ripped kale or spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak black-eyed beans in cold water for a day.
Discard water, rinse and add to the crock pot, cover with water and cook overnight.
Add 1 Tbl salt and leave for most of the day.
In a large, soup pot, saute onions, celery, garlic, jalapenos, thyme and bay leaves for ~ 5 minutes, until onions are soft.
Add potatoes, smoked paprika, paprika, oregano. Coat in spices. Add stock to prevent sticking.
Add beans with some of the cooking liquid + stock to the pot. Season and add liquid smoke to taste. Simmer.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
Throw in the kale, continue cooking for another 10 minutes or more, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bay leaves.
Blend or mash some of the beans for a creamier texture.
Taste and adjust for seasonings with pepper, creole seasoning and salt if needed. Serve over cooked rice/polenta and garnish with green onion.