Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ring in the New Year With Hoppin' John Soup

Although I'm not the least bit superstitious*, it has become a family tradition to eat Hoppin' John Soup on New Years Day. Far from thinking that the black-eyed peas will grant us prosperity, it is instead just another great excuse to eat one of our favorite crock pot concoctions.

 I first ate this mix of rice, beans, and sausage at a local restaurant but much tweaking throughout the years has made it my own - and oh so much better!

It's not too late to join in this tasty tradition...grab your crock pot and have it ready tomorrow!

Hoppin' John Soup Ingredients

1 bag dried black-eyed peas (yes, you can use the canned version but the taste and texture suffer)

3 cans of chicken broth or enough homemade broth to fill  2/3 of a large crock pot

1 packet of chicken flavoring from Chicken Ramen

1 bunch of celery, chopped - make sure you include the leaves for extra flavor

1 large onion, chopped

4 T olive oil

1 lb. ham sausage (mild)

1 lb. Italian sausage (sweet)

1 cup whole grain rice

2 T poultry seasoning

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1/2 t minced garlic

Coarse ground pepper and Lawry's Seasoned Salt to taste

Hoppin' John Soup - Putting it All Together:

  • Pour broth into crock pot, set on high. 
  • Add black-eyed peas, Chicken Ramen seasoning packet and other spices/herbs. 
  • Using a couple tablespoons of olive oil, sweat celery and set aside. 
  • Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute onions and continue until they are caramelized. Introduce to mixture in crock pot. 
  • Brown both types of sausage until thoroughly crumbly and brown. Drain and add to crock pot. 
  • With temperature on high, cook for several hours - until black-eyed peas are at the desired softness. Some people prefer to cook them until they are rather mushy, we like for them to retain a bit of body.
  • Pour in the rice, cover, and set timer to 25 minutes. If there isn't enough liquid in the crock pot, add some water and taste mixture to adjust seasoning. When the rice is tender, lower the heat setting to 'warm' or turn off. Serve with corn bread muffins and enjoy!

*Check out New Years Luck - Let Jesus be Your Dumbo Feather from a couple years ago.