Vegetarian Mustard Greens and Black Eyed Pea Soup

As mustard greens mature in the garden, it's time to create some Southern food. Dishes taken from the heart of Africa and then mingled with Native American and European staples to create that unique blend we now call Soul Food. Just as the enslaved people cooked whatever was given them, I made this unplanned dish from whatever I happened to have in the fridge, and then added the extra Hindu twist. Enjoy this vegetarian Soul Food!


2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can blackeye peas
1 small winter squash or one yam, peeled and cubed
1/2 red cabbage, chopped
1 zucchini, cubed
1 quart vegetable broth
I bunch mustard greens, washed and chopped
Salt to taste
Cayenne to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan.

  2. Add garlic and shallot and fry until shallots are translucent.

  3. Add the cabbage, zucchini and squash or yam (we happened to have a a small winter squash from last year's garden but a yam would be even more authentic).

  4. Stir fry briefly, then add blackeye peas and boiling hot vegetable broth. Since I didn't plan this recipe ahead, I used canned black-eye peas but of course, made from scratch is ideal.

  5. Add the mustard greens, salt and cayenne and simmer until the vegetables are soft.

  6. Serve with cornbread. I used this cornbread recipe and substituted golden flax seed meal for the eggs. One tablespoon flax meal plus two tablespoons warm water equals one egg.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

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