The mister and I dined on this powerfully good soup on the 1st, thereby guaranteeing all kinds of good luck for ourselves but not to worry, what's mine is yours, starting with the mister, I'm more than happy to share...I shall send him to the first person who asks!
Before we get to the soup and the good luck that comes from eating blackeyed peas on New Year's Day (I have just made an executive decision, eating blackeyed peas anytime during the month of January will bring good luck, so not to worry that this recipe is two weeks late!) I have to show you what my sweet friend Nanette of Freda's Hive sent me...my own 12 Days of Christmas! I was blown away - it was SO MUCH FUN! Look how cute everything is wrapped! And inside each little box was, well, let me show you!
(Warning: exclamation points used excessively!) Twelve little boxes filled with the most fun stuff...I loved the antique tea-pot-ornament and the salt cellar and the saffron!!! The fudge lasted about as long as the homemade marshmallows and the homemade caramels...so good! The Kleenex tote is in my purse, so cute, the British calendar towel made by Nanette herself is proudly on display in my kitchen and the mister was given a strict warning about not using it! And that pink macaron purse...is that the cutest thing ever or what?! Plus there was more candy and 4 cute green apple coasters and vintage buttons and washi tape (on those little wooden spools) and, and, and so much more! I just had to show you, it was too good to keep all to myself. You know, if you start now, by the time Christmas rolls around again you could have some really fun stuff set aside to make your own 12 Days of Christmas for someone special - because that's how I felt when I opened that box - special! Thanks so much Nanette! If you haven't read Freda's Hive, you should, I go there every morning for a dose of inspiration and a pound of creativity and you should, too!
Blackeyed Peas bring good luck - it's common knowledge - ask anyone who lives south of the Mason-Dixon line and they'll tell you it's true, so who am I to argue? This time of year, because so many people eat blackeyed peas on New Years Day, you can find fresh/par-boiled blackeyed peas at the store but if you can't find fresh ones you can always used dried or canned. Most people I know eat blackeyed peas in the form of Hoppin' John, and this soup is a riff on that.
Along with the Holy Trinity of veggies - onion, celery and bell peppers, this soup has okra, Cajun style Andouille sausage, a bit of a bite from Creole seasoning, and Tabasco...just enough to make you wake up and realize we now live in the year 2014! Sounds SO Sci-fi!
Hoppin' John Soup - Pots and Pins
4 cups fresh blackeyed peas (If you use dried, prepare according to package directions.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green pepper, finely diced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1 large white onion, finely diced
2 cups frozen okra
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
12 oz. Andouille sausage, Cajun style (I used Aidells, 4 sausages in a 12 oz. package)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon Tabasco (or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Serve with cooked rice
In a large Dutch oven heat olive oil, add onion, celery and peppers; saute for about 5 minutes or just until the onions are slightly soft. Add 4 cups water to the pot, bring to a boil then stir in peas; bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes. Stir in okra, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, sausage, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, Tabasco and salt and pepper. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat again, then cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and add a scoop of hot cooked rice, optional. Serves 8.