The letter of Tevet is “ayin” which also means eye. “The month of Tevet is the month of the rectification and nullification of the ‘evil eye.’ The word Tevet itself comes from tov, “good,” referring to tov ayin, ‘the goodly eye.'” Indeed, celebrating the remaining days of Chanukah during the beginning of Tevet is an opportunity to see good in the world, as revealed in the burning of the holiday’s candles. “We need the power of the light of Chanukah, especially the light of the last day of Chanukah. . . to help us rectify the “Evil Eye” and to reveal the good (Tov – Tevet) in whatever exists.”
With the dark month of Tevet, I offer a recipe that is warm, nourishing and invites one to share with others. The Black Eyed Pea soup is inspired by Tevet’s opportunity to turn away from the evil eye-from hateful speech, behaviors, actions and thoughts. We can reflect upon what we see and how we see and live in the world. It’s a hearty soup that would be complimented well by some fresh bread enjoyed with a group of friends.
Tevet Black Eyed Pea Soup
1.5 cups dry black eyed peas
3 cups vegetable broth
4 tomatoes chopped
1 large or 2 small green or yellow zucchinis, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak black eyed peas for at least an hour (or up to 24 hours). Rinse and add to a pot of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook for about 30-40 minutes until nearly cooked.
2. When the black eyed peas are almost ready, in a separate large pot, add 1 tbsp olive oil over low-medium heat. Add onion, garlic and carrots. Cook until soft.
3. Add zucchini to pot. Mix well and cook for a few minutes. Then added chopped tomatoes, vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil.
4. Add the black eyed peas. Mix well. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered until beans are fully cooked, about 20 minutes. If the soup becomes too thick, slowly add water.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. Remove from heat and drizzle with fruity olive oil.