I don’t necessarily believe in luck. I believe in being a blessing to those around you and being grateful, mindful, hopeful. But, I do like to eat black-eye peas or lentils on New Year’s, giving Luck a wink and a hug. Here’s this year’s recipe which was quite tasty. Enjoy with a rustic loaf of bread, perhaps some delicious wine or beer. May 2012 be full of blessings for you and your family.
Rice & Black-eye Pea Soup
9 oz dried black-eye peas (or substitute 1 14 oz can peas: see ** cooking note below to adjust)
1 T. butter or cooking oil
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 oz. lean smoked ham, diced
1/8 t. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
5 c. vegetable or chicken broth
2 1/2 c. water
1/2 c. brown rice
fresh parsley or chives to garnish
1. Soak peas at least 6 hours. Drain and cover with enough cold water to 2 inches. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.
2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until just softened. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and bell pepper. Stir well and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
3. Add the drained beans, ham, thyme, bay leaf, stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 1 hour or until the beans are just tender.
4. Stir in the rice and season with salt if needed and pepper. Continue cooking for 30 minutes or until the rice and beans are tender.
Garnish and enjoy! Serves 4-6.
** If using canned beans, add the rice at step 3 and cook until the rice is tender, possibly 30 minutes or less. **