Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hoppin' John's New Year's Day Soup

Hello all!

Since this is my first entry into the blogosphere, I think introductions are in order. I am a SAHM of 4, currently unschooling 3 kiddos: Gabe 15, Emma 10, and Maya 8. My oldest, Haley, is 22 .  I love painting, traveling, music, theatre, sewing, and knitting, among other things. As part of my 2012 New Year’s Resolution, I have decided to take the next step and become a full time VEGAN! I have been a vegetarian for the past two years, but… I love cheese. I know how bad it is for me, and yes, occasionally when I think about it, especially while eating said cheese, I too am grossed out by it. But I am a survivor, and will survive a cheese-less life. I am moving on.

So. I thought that starting this blog would help me on my journey to veganism. I plan to make one delicious vegan soup a week and post about it every “Soup Sunday” for an entire year. My picky eater, Emma, will give each recipe an “Emma Rating” between 1 and 5, with 1 being “don’t even think about it,” and 5 being “I could eat this every day.”

I have been cooking vegan dinners for my family for the past year, as my husband decided last year to become a vegan, so vegan cooking is not totally new to me.  What I hope is to present vegan soup recipes that are not only vegan, but also healthy, easy to prepare, and family friendly. I love to cook: I hate to clean. So easy prep and cleanup is a must. And hopefully Emma will eat it. That is always a goal, as well. It is a lofty goal, but a goal nonetheless.

Up for your consideration is my first soup recipe of the year, Hoppin’ John’s New Year’s Day Soup. This is a variation of the black-eyed peas and rice recipe that we all know so well, but soup-i-fied. And, of course, being New Year’s Day, we must all eat our black-eyed peas to ensure prosperity throughout the year. 

I hope you enjoy this soup. We all did, even Emma. It was served with vegan cornbread. Yum!


                                            Hoppin’ John’s New Year’s Day Soup
                                                        Emma Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Serves 6

Ingredients List:

1 lb bag of dried black-eyed peas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
2 tsp vegan Liquid Smoke
½ tsp fresh thyme
1 large bay leaf
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup brown rice
salt and pepper (optional)
chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
Louisiana Hot Sauce (optional)

HINT: If you don’t have 6+ hours to soak, buy 4 cans of black-eyed peas as a shortcut.

Soak beans according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

Heat olive oil in large, heavy pot on medium heat. Once oil is heated add onions. Cook onions until just softened, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add carrots, celery, garlic and red pepper. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add beans, liquid smoke, thyme, bay leaf, vegetable broth, and an optional dash or two of hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover, simmering gently for 1 hour or until beans are tender. Stir occasionally.

Add rice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 30 minutes until the rice is cooked through and the beans are tender.

Remove bay leaf, and garnish with chives before serving. Enjoy!