Red and Black-Eye Soup

1 cup dried black-eyed peas
1 cup dried small red beans -- (NOT kidney beans!)
4 tablespoons water
4 cloves garlic -- minced
1 cup onion -- chopped
1 cup celery -- chopped
1 cup carrots -- chopped
1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes -- chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon paprika -- (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dill weed -- dried
1/2 teaspoon celery seed -- dried
1/2 teaspoon cumin -- dried
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
few drops of liquid smoke seasoning to taste

The night before put the red beans and black-eyed peas to soak overnight in double their volume of water. In the morning, drain off the soaking water and discard it.

Heat the 4 tbsp. water in a large non-stick skillet (or in the crockpot itself if you have one that has a removable pot with a non-stick surface like mine). Sauté the garlic and onions until they start to turn clear (don't brown them). Add the other vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the paprika, dill weed, celery seed, cumin, and pepper. Correct the seasoning (I don't find any extra salt necessary at this point when I use canned stock. Simmer for at least two hours, or in the crockpot at setting number 2 for five or six hours. Stir in liquid smoke seasoning. Serve.

For those who prefer crispier vegetables, leave out the celery and carrots in the beginning and only put them in to simmer for the last half-hour of cooking.

Serving Ideas : Serve simply with a small green salad and cornbread. Brown rice or quinoa are also good with this.

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