Veggie Hoppin’ John

by Anne Bennett on December 30, 2013

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Hoppin’ John is a Southern dish served on New Year’s day to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year. Traditionally it’s made with black-eyed peas, onions and either bacon or ham and it’s served with rice and Tabasco Sauce.

I’m not from the South, thus I’ve never cooked black-eyed peas. And since this holiday the Bennett household was particularly laden with sugary, fat-laden goodies, I decided to try a vegetarian rendition of the dish that I found on food52.  Right now I need more animal fat like I need a hole-in-the-head.

The original recipe calls for double the amounts given here, but I’ve cut it down because, well, in my estimation one can use only so much “luck-of-the-legume.”  The double recipe uses one 15-oz. can of diced tomatoes; I used the same amount but you can halve it or leave out tomatoes altogether. And you can certainly add some ham or bacon to the pot but if you do, eliminate the smoked paprika, which is used to approximate the flavor of smoked pork in meatless dishes.

I also added a healthy dose of Tabasco Sauce, because the spicier the new year, the better.

1 16-oz. package frozen black-eyed peas (about 3 cups total)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or more — those black-eyed peas really soak up the salt!)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
Cayenne pepper
2 green onions, green parts only, chopped
Tabasco Sauce
2 cups cooked brown rice

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot and add onion, green pepper and celery. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, smoked paprika, black-eyed peas and chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil. Partially cover and simmer about 25 minutes or until peas are tender but not mushy. Drain the diced tomatoes and add them. Heat through and add cayenne, salt, pepper and Tabasco Sauce to taste.  Black-eyed peas are pretty tame so I gave the pot several good shakes of Tabasco.

Serve in bowls over brown rice, sprinkled with chopped green onions. Offer more Tabasco at the table.

Serves 4
WW PP per serving with 1/2 cup brown rice: 8

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat January 20, 2014 at 8:11 am

This is delicious Anne! I added diced carrot & some chopped collard greens…never tried before & loved it. Also added a splash of cider vinegar…saw a restaurant chef do this. Mmmmm

Anne Bennett January 20, 2014 at 8:20 am

Pat, adding a splash of vinegar is a great idea. If you’re not a Tabasco fan, some vinegar gives the beans some…tang! I usually add some cider vinegar to my chili.

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