When the revelry of New Year's Eve has come and gone, it'll be time for me to draw up that list of New Year's resolutions. I don't know about you, but with the list of changes I'm vowing to make this year, I'm going to need any good fortune I can get. That's why I'm enlisting the help of hoppin' John.
A New Year's fixture on every Southern table, this mélange of black-eyed peas, ham, onions, and rice is said to bring prosperity to anyone who eats it. Blackeyeds, as they're called in the South, are symbolic of coins and affluence; collard greens, with their leaves the color of currency, are another. Supposedly, more pork also means more luck — but that might just be an excuse to enjoy more of the pig.
When New Year's arrives this time around, consider passing the day with a comforting pot of hoppin' John soup. It makes a ton, which means, presumably, that you'll have plenty of luck to go around in the next dozen months. See the recipe when you read more.
1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
1 smoked ham bone or two hocks
1⁄4 cup canola oil
1⁄2 cup finely chopped cooked ham
1⁄4 tsp. red chile flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 lb. collard greens, ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground
black pepper, to taste
5 cups cooked long-grain white rice
Chopped scallions, for garnish
- Bring peas, ham bone, and 8 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, skimming foam occasionally, until peas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain peas, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid along with ham bone; set aside.
- Heat oil in a 12-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped ham, chiles, garlic, jalapeños, carrot, onion, celery, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add reserved black-eyed peas, ham bone, and reserved cooking liquid, along with collards and 12 cups water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until collards are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Spoon rice into bowls and ladle soup over rice and add garnish.
Serves 8 to 10.
- Soups/Stews, Bean
- North American