Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hoppin' John

Southern traditions hold true in our house. Two days before New Year’s, the black eyed peas and greens make their way into the kitchen, ready to be turned into a meal that guarantees luck and money. Who knows if it really works to eat this on New Year’s Day, but I can’t remember a year that I haven’t eaten Hoppin’ John or just the black eyed peas and the greens. Hoppin’ John is a great soup any time you want something hot and spicy and somewhat healthy! It’s great with cornbread or even hot crusty French bread.
Here’s to lots of luck and happiness in the New Year for you and yours!

Hoppin’ John

1-½ pints quick cook black-eyed peas, Marjon brand is a good brand
12 ounces Wellshire turkey chorizo sausage, sliced
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1-2 lbs fresh kale or mustard greens, washed, dried and sliced into ribbons
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried French thyme
1 tbsp chicken base
1 bay leaf
Extra virgin olive oil

Place medium Dutch oven over medium high heat and do three to four swirls of extra virgin olive oil in bottom. When pan is hot, add chorizo and brown. Remove from pan and add a bit more olive oil and add garlic, carrot and onions and cook till soft, about 10 minutes. Add chorizo back to pan along with crushed red peppers, black eyed peas, thyme and bay leaf. Add water to cover and the chicken base and bring to a boil. Let rock along on medium-medium high heat. Skim orangey-gray (I know, sounds awful) foam off the top as it rises. Peas should be cooked after 45 minutes. Add fresh greens and cook ten minutes.
Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.
Even better the second day!


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