Kale Soup with Black-Eyed Peas

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Ingredients

1 TBSP olive oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 Rib celery, chopped
1 Carrot, peeled and chopped
1 tsp Paprika
1 Bay leaf
4 cups Vegetable stock or water
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups kale, Chopped
2 14 oz cans black-eyed peas, drained
2 TBSP soy sauce
3 cups brown rice, cooked
Salt

Directions

1. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
2. Add onion, celery and carrot.
3. Cook 5 minutes until softened.
4. Add paprika, bay leaf, stock or water, tomatoes and kale and cook, uncovered, until kale is tender, about 15 minutes.
5. Add peas and soy sauce and simmer 5 minutes.
6. Just before serving, add rice and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

If you are a traditionalist and feel that you must have hog jowl bacon with your black eyed peas for them to be fully effective in the upcoming year but want to keep this vegan recipe completely pure, I have a suggestion. Remove the skin from about ½ lb cured hog jowl bacon. Cut into fine cubes. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon which is now cracklings and place on a folded paper towel to drain. I discard the rendered fat, but it is not bad as a seasoning for dry beans. When you are ready to serve the soup, place the hog jowl cracklings in a bowl to pass. Them that wants them has them. Them that do not, will not. See how simple life can be???
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