Well, I'm late posting my Sunday Slow Soupers soup. I made it last week, but forgot to take photos, and froze half of it, and so I had to wait until I thawed it out to take a photo. Shannon chose this soup because it contains black eyed peas, a food that is eaten by many on New Years Day. She got the recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen blog. The soup is wonderful-very flavorful with the ham, quite salty, and healthier with the addition of greens. You can use any type of green-I used kale. I loved the soup the first few days I ate it, and as I mentioned, I froze the other half to be eaten at a later time. Today, I was so thankful to have that soup in the freezer. It has been about -10F for the past few days, and today it never got above that at our house. When we went to bed last night, it was nice and toasty. When I got up this morning, it was 54 in the house, and went down to 50. Our heater wasn't working!!! We have one bedroom/bath downstairs which is on a separate thermostat. Thank goodness that heater worked. What happened is that we had a valve that didn't work, and didn't allow hot water to flow through the pipes to the baseboard heat, and a pipe froze. Usually when we don't have heat it's because the electricity went out. At least we had that. We called the plumber and he came and replaced the valve, but said we'd have to try to get the pipe thawed. We could either build a fire, turn on all space heaters we had, etc. and see if they thawed. No luck. We called a guy who thaws pipes, but he couldn't make it out until tonight. We had to stay in the unheated portion of the house a good part of the day, because we needed to keep an eye on the fireplace, propane heaters, electric heaters, etc. to make sure we didn't start a fire. Around 7pm tonight, he came and thawed out the pipes (luckily, they didn't burst), and we now have heat.
Back to the soup-I thawed it out for lunch, and not only did the soup still taste great, it was very warming to have while in the cold house. I did make sure I saved enough to have a small bowl on New Years Day for good luck and prosperity.
Hopping John Soup
1 onion, chopped in fairly small pieces
1 cup celery, chopped in fairly small pieces
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
2-3 cups diced ham (cut off the ham rind and save)
8 cups homemade chicken stock
2 16 oz. packages frozen black-eyed peas
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bunch fresh collard greens, chopped
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, or more to taste
Optional: ham flavor base if needed, see note at end of the recipe
In large frying pan, saute onion and celery in olive oil about 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more, then add ham and saute over very low heat 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to large soup pot, add chicken stock, black eyed peas, and ham rinds if available, and cook at very low simmer for one hour.
After soup has cooked one hour, taste for flavoring. Add more water and ham flavor base if needed. Add chopped collard greens and thyme, stir into soup and simmer one hour more, or until black-eyed peas are quite soft. When black-eyed peas are as soft as you want them, remove pieces of ham rind, then use an immersion blender, food processor, or hand masher to partially process about half the soup. You want a mixture of broken and unbroken black-eyes peas, with some thickening of the soup from the pureeing process. Be careful not to over process. Add red pepper flakes and vinegar and simmer 10 minutes more. Serve hot.
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen with inspiration from The Gourmet Cookbook.)