Good luck in the new year - we all want it, right? Well, I try to edge the odds in my direction by making the good luck soup each year.
This year I tried the recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Kalyn's Kitchen. I was really glad I chose this recipe because it was absolutely delicious!
Hopping John Soup Recipe for Luck in the New Year (Black-Eyed Pea, Ham, and Collard Greens Soup)
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from The Gourmet Cookbook.)
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
(or use water with chicken soup base or canned chicken broth)
2 16 oz. packages frozen black-eyed peas
(or use 6 cups freshly cooked black-eyed peas or 4 cans black-eyed peas)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bunch fresh collard greens, chopped (about 2 cups when measured after chopping, but next time I would use more)
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, or more to taste
Optional: ham flavor base if needed (I like Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate if you can find it)
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. (Don't skip this step, which concentrates the ham flavor into the vegetables.)
Transfer mixture to large soup pot, add chicken stock, black eyed peas, dried thyme, 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. (It will depend on your ham, but I usually add a tiny bit. I added about 2 cups more water to the soup at this point.) Add chopped collard greens, 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 (or longer, I sometimes cook as much as an hour more at this point.) Serve hot.