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Collard Greens And Black Eyed Pea Soup With Cornmeal Croustades

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  Smoked ham hocks/Hog jowls/pork knuckles 3⁄4 Pound
  Carrots 4 , halved crosswise
  Celery ribs 4 , halved crosswise
  Parsley sprigs 20 , tied in a bundle with kitchen string
  Salt 1 Teaspoon
  Whole cloves 4
  Onions 4 Medium
  Garlic 10 Clove (50 gm), unpeeled
  Black peppercorns 8
  Dried hot red peppers 6 Small
  Thyme 2 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Bay leaves 2 (Imported)
  Dry white wine 2 Cup (32 tbs)
  Dried black eyed peas 1⁄2 Pound, rinsed and picked over
  Collard greens 1 1⁄2 Pound
  Thin slices cornmeal yeast bread 16
  Grated cheddar cheese 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), finely
  Cider vinegar 2 Tablespoon (For Serving)
  Hot pepper sauce 2 Tablespoon (For Serving)

1. In a large stockpot, place the ham hocks, carrots, celery, parsley and salt. Stick a clove into each onion and add to the pot. Thread the garlic cloves onto toothpicks or short wooden skewers (for easy removal when the soup is done) and add to the pot. Tie the peppercorns, hot peppers, thyme and bay leaves in a double thickness of cheesecloth and add to the pot. Add the wine and 5 quarts of hot water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 1 hour, skimming the surface occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, place the black-eyed peas in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour; drain.
3. Wash the collard greens and discard any large, coarse stems. Stack the greens and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Cut across the strips to make 1/2-inch squares.
4. When the broth has simmered for 1 hour, add the greens and simmer, partially covered, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas and simmer, uncovered, until the peas are tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes.
5. With a slotted spoon, remove the ham hocks, carrots, celery, onions and garlic from the soup and set aside. Remove the herb bouquet and the parsley bundle and discard. Remove the cloves from the onions and discard the cloves.
6. Place the carrots, celery and onions in a food processor. Remove the garlic cloves from the toothpicks and squeeze the garlic into the food processor, discarding the skins. Puree the vegetables with 1/2 cup of the broth until smooth, about 30 seconds. Return the puree to the soup.
7. Preheat the broiler. Pick over the ham hocks to remove any meat. Crumble the lean pieces with your fingers and return them to the soup. Season with additional salt to taste.
8. Place the slices of Cornmeal Yeast Bread on a baking sheet and broil 4 inches from the heat for about 1 minute on each side, until lightly browned and crisp. Sprinkle each slice with the cheese and broil for about 20 seconds, until melted and bubbly.
9. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and float 2 croustades on top of each. Pass a cruet of vinegar and a bottle of hot sauce on the side.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Slow Cooked
Preparation Time: 
15 Minutes
Cook Time: 
140 Minutes
Ready In: 
155 Minutes

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Collard Greens And Black Eyed Pea Soup With Cornmeal Croustades Recipe