Check your grocery store this week: it'll be selling big bunches of collard greens, it's a promise. That's because greens, especially collard greens, are traditional for New Years' – who wouldn't mind a little more 'green' prosperity? Hoppin' John is a traditional beans 'n' rice dish, so that makes this Hoppin' John in a soup bowl, with collard greens for good measure.
It's a great soup for that long pause between Christmas and New Years, the one where we catch our breath and remember what the heavens must call 'relaxation'. But to be official, serve Hoppin' John on New Years, just to get things off to a good start. It can't hurt and it sure will taste good.
"I made this on New Years and it was wonderful! It was even better the next day!" ~ Walter
"It was delicious, even forgetting to add the vinegar at the end." ~ Dave
HOPPIN' JOHN SOUP
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 9 cups
8 ounces dried black-eyed peas, rinsed well and picked over
1 ham bone, Note to Vegetarians (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Water to cover
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped (what is a poblano pepper?)
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
6 cups water (see TIPS)
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, trimmed and chopped into big chunks
1 cup leftover ham, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 pound collard greens, washed well, ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring the black-eyed peas, ham bone and salt to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes until the peas are mostly done. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid (see TIPS). Pick any meat off the ham bone, see if the dog wants the bone, she'll love you forever.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the olive oil on MEDIUM heat until shimmery. Add the onion, pepper and celery as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat. Cook, stirring often, until just beginning to turn golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute.
In the Dutch oven, combine the 6 cups of water plus 1 cup reserved cooking liquid, the cooked beans and all the remaining ingredients except the apple cider vinegar. Return to a boil and let simmer until the collard greens are cooked (see TIPS re timing).
Just before serving, remove the bay leaf and stir in the vinegar.
Serve with Skillet Cornbread or Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice.
DA HAM BONE If the ham bone has a lot of meat on it, cut it off and reserve for adding later. Small bits of meat will pick off much more easily once the bone's been cooked with the black-eyed peas, however.
THE COOKING LIQUID The inspiring recipe called for using fresh water plus just one cup of the cooking liquid. If I had it to do over again, I would use all the cooking liquid, it tasted just so great and wasn't the least bit starchy. I didn't realize until too late but saved it for a pot of chili, one of the best batches I've ever made.
COOKING TIMING The inspiring recipes says that the collards can take an hour to cook to become tender and I remember other times, with collards, when they took a looong time to cook. This pot, however, was cooked and lusciously tender in fewer than 15 minutes.
NO SOAKING REQUIRED One more reason to love dried black-eyed peas? They needn't be soaked beforehand and cook up in 30 - 45 minutes.
~ Braised Collard Greens ~
~ New Year's Turnip Greens ~
~ Summer Black-Eyed Pea Salad ~
(really a year-round salad that just tastes like summer)
~ Hoppin' John Soup ~
~ more recipes with beans, lentils & other legumes ~
~ more recipes for leafy greens ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad ~
~ Lucky Black-eyed Pea Soup ~
~ more New Year's recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column