I cherish holiday tradition but I like to mix it up a little, too. It keeps things interesting, especially when it comes to our gluten-free diet. You can add a bit of excitement to your table this New Years Day with my version of a Southern tradition, Hoppin’ John.
If you’re not familiar with the dish or the reason behind eating it, here’s the skinny:
Dating back to the 1840s, basic Hoppin’ John consists of rice (here’s how to make perfect rice every time!) and beans, usually black eyed peas seasoned with some form of pork (ham hock, bacon, fatback), salt, pepper, onions, and peppers. There are as many variations as there are regions of the South.
Served piping hot alongside some type of greens (collards, kale, cabbage, turnip greens, mustard greens, etc.) and cornbread, the meal is simple, delicious, and full of symbolism for future prosperity.
The black eyed peas represent coins, the greens insure you’ll have plenty of “green” in your wallet in the coming year, and the cornbread that often accompanies can be cut into rectangles to look like bars of gold.
This version, made into a deliciously hearty soup, is naturally gluten-free and much healthier than the basic recipe. It’s low-fat, simple to make in one pot, and ready in under an hour! For New Years Day or any day, I know you’ll love this Hoppin’ John Soup!
Hoppin’ John Soup
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup green pepper, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- 6 large collard leaves, washed, dried, and shredded
- 2 cans black eyed peas, not drained
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice*
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil and cook onions, green pepper, and celery until tender, about 5 minutes.
- While the veggies cook, wash and remove center rib from collard leaves by cutting leaves in half length-wise and discarding center rib. Stack the leaf halves and cut into strips; set aside.
- Add garlic to the veggies in the soup pot and stir 1-2 minutes, until garlic becomes aromatic.
- Add broth, collards, water, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and stir. Cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir in rice and beans. Stir and simmer an additional 15 minutes until heated through.
Serve with my gluten free cornbread.
Don’t forget the Gluten-Free Cornbread!