Black Eyed Pea and Squash Soup

Recipe By :Vegetable Heaven, Mollie Katzen, revised to be fatfree
Serving Size : 6 

1/2 cup Dried Black-Eyed Peas -- Note 1
3 tablespoons sherry
2 cups Minced Onion
2 tablespoons Dry Mustard
2 tablespoons Minced Garlic
2 tablespoons Minced Fresh Ginger
2 teaspoons Salt
1 pound Fresh Mushrooms -- Note 2
10 Shiitake Mushrooms -- Note 3
1/4 cup Dry Sherry Or Vermouth Or Chinese Rice Wine
1 medium Butternut Squash -- Note 4
4 cups Water
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
Black Pepper -- To Taste
Finely Minced Fresh Parsley -- And/Or
Scallions For Top -- Optional

Note 1: soak the peas for at least 4 hrs (or 2 C fresh or frozen/defrosted)
Note 2: domestic mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
Note 3: fresh or dried and soaked, stemmed and thinly sliced
Note 4: 2 lb, peeled and cut into small dice (about 5 C)

You can cook the black-eyed peas up to several days ahead, if desired. Save time by preparing the other ingredients while the peas cook.

Place the soaked or fresh black-eyed peas in a saucepan and cover with water by at least 2". Bring to a boil, turn the heat way down, and simmer, partially covered, until tender - about 30 min. Drain and set aside.

Heat the 3 tablespoons sherry in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, mustard, half the garlic, half the ginger, and half the salt. Sauté over med heat for about 5 min. Stir in all the mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes, then add the 1/4 cup sherry. Cover and cook over med heat for about 10 min.

Add half the squash and all the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for about 10 min, then add the cinnamon, lemon juice and vinegar along with the black-eyed peas, the remaining garlic, ginger, squash, and salt. Cover again, and cook over low heat until the most recently added squash is just tender, about 20 min.

Season liberally with freshly ground black pepper, and taste to see if it needs more salt. Serve hot, topped with very finely minced parsley and/or scallions, if desired.

Yield: 6 - 8 servings 

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