Hoppin' John, a Southern tradition introduced to me last week by my friend Ryan, is a savory black eyed pea stew that is supposed to bring the eater health and wealth in the new year. This version, made without the traditional ham and with a few additions of my own, was full of spice and super tasty when served with a warm slice of homemade cornbread (recipe to follow)! This recipe makes a huge pot so either serve your whole neighborhood or plan to eat this for a solid week.
1 pound black eyed peas, soaked overnight
8 C water
1 medium onion, halved
2 carrots, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered
3 cloves garlic, halved
2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
Place all ingredients in a large soup pot, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 1 hour, stirring once after half an hour. (Careful not to over mix or your beans will disintegrate!) Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the chunks of vegetable and the bay leaves and discard.
1/2 C brown rice
1 1/4 C water
1/2 tsp salt
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add rice and salt, cover, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 45 minutes.
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Heat olive oil in a small skillet and add all vegetables. Saute until tender and fragrant. Add vegetables and cooked rice to the pot of beans and mix gently.
1 can whole peeled tomatoes in sauce
1/2 pound turnip greens (or collards), chopped
4 scallions, whites and greens chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
salt to taste
Roughly chop tomatoes and add (with juice!) to the beans. Add greens, scallions, and all spices. Stir gently and let simmer for five minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings as needed.
Enjoy with a big buttery slice of cornbread!