Eating Hoppin' John on New Year's Day is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck. The beans symbolize coins or pennies and the greens symbolize the color of money and are said to add to one's wealth in the New Year.
Traditional Hoppin' John is a singular concoction of peas (cow or black-eyed), greens, and rice simmered in a pork base.
When thinking of how to prepare this dish, I stumbled upon a recipe for a soup version and I decided to give it a try. I served it up along with some homemade, fresh from the oven, cornbread. If you like traditional Hoppin' John you will LOVE this recipe...
Prep Time: 1/2 Hour
Cook Time: 2 Hours
|Photo: Mary Ann Rice|
- Soak the beans overnight in cold water to cover. Drain in colander.
- In a large saucepan or soup pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook over medium heat until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, jalapeno, thyme, pepper flakes and bay leaf and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the beans, liquid and ham hocks and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until beans are verging on tender, about 1 hour.
- Add the collards and continue to cook, covered, until beans and collards are very tender, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Stir in the ham, season with salt and pepper, and adjust amount of liquid if necessary. Stir in vinegar.
- Spoon rice into bowls, ladle soup over, and serve. Pass bowl of chopped tomatoes and a cruet of vinegar and a bottle of hot sauce at the table.
|Leave three peas on your plate to ensure a New Year filled with Luck, Fortune, and Romance|
This recipe is the "original" and was first published in Saveur in Issue #125.
Here is an adaption by Brooke Dojny - which was my inspiration.
Here is a link to quite possibly the World's Perfect Cornbread.