Friday, January 21, 2011

Cooking: Black Eyed Peas (for prosperity!)

When we spend New Year's with my in-laws, my sister-in-law usually makes black eyed peas for New Year's Day, because eating them that day is supposed to bring one prosperity. (Did you know that?) It's been at least a couple years since we've had them with her. I made them for my family last year. This year I'm a wee bit late, and didn't host, but just delivered containers of black-eyed peas to my siblings. It's still January so I'm thinking it's gotta count!

This is such a great, hearty soup to make with leftover ham. (In fairness, I did host my family for the ham dinner.) It tastes great (a little sweet from the ham and carrots) and it seems good for you too. It must be. Plus, it occurred to me that this is such a frugal meal. Maybe that's part of the prosperity. Do more with beans and you'll save more!

Click to read more for the recipe.


Here is the recipe I came up with after finding a few online:

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped mirepoix mix (onions, carrots, celery) (i buy this frozen!)
6 tablespoons minced garlic
6 bay leaves
2 T dried thyme
15 to 20 ounces (about 3-4 cups) roughly chopped country ham pieces (and ham hock if desired) (I used leftover spiral cut/honey glazed ham)
3 pounds dried black-eyed peas, soaked in 24 cups cold water overnight and rinsed well
3 quarts low-sodium chicken stock
3 cups cold water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until softened. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and country ham. Add the black-eyed peas, chicken stock, and cold water. Bring the liquid up to a boil, partially cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the peas for about 2 hours, uncover and simmer at least an additional 2 hours, or until the peas are tender and the broth is a bit thickened--longer is better. Season the peas with salt and pepper as needed.

**If you want to make this ahead a day you can cook as described above, then cool and store in the refrigerator. Before reheating on the stove skim off the fat.**


KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

I will definitely try this. I am fortunate to have kids who love beans so this would be perfect.

MollyE said...

This looks great! I love your blog, you are so amazingly talented and creative.

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