For as long as I can remember, I have begun the new year with black eyed peas, cornbread and cabbage. My mother assured me that these items were necessary for health and prosperity in the new year. It was a southern tradition that I grew up with.
In my childhood, New Year’s Day meant a pot of black eyed peas and stewed or fried cabbage served alongside some ham with a warm piece of cornbread. When I left home, I continues the tradition, but my husband was not a fan of black eyed peas. For him, I began making Hoppin’ John and serving it on top of rice, but he still wasn’t a big fan. He ate it because I told him it was a tradition, and he loved me enough to comply with my weird traditions.
When the children came along, they sided with their father. I knew I needed to up my culinary game to get them to eat black eyed peas and cabbage. Since everyone liked Chinese food, I would make homemade chow mein which contained the cabbage, and I would mix in a few black eyed peas. I would also make fried rice to which I added a few more black eyed peas. The kids ate their black eyed peas and cabbage and everyone remained healthy and our needs were met each year. I don’t know if the two things are really connected, but I’m not messing with success.
This year, it was so cold on New Year’s Day that I decided to make soup, soup and sandwiches. I needed to make sure that we ate the requisite black eyed peas and cabbage with cornbread. A side of coleslaw took care of the cabbage, and the black eyed peas were the star of this soup, which paired great with the cornbread. All in all, it was a good New Year’s Day.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 pepper, chopped
- 1 pound of breakfast sausage with sage
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 (4 ounce) package of long grain and wild rice mix, with seasoning packet.
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large pot. Add onions, carrot, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and saute unit vegetables become tender.
- Add sausage and continue to cook until sausage is fully cooked.
- Add tomatoes, drained black eyed peas, chicken broth, and water.
- Add long grain and wild rice mix and seasoning packet.
- Mix well
- Bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.