“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.”--unknown
Fresh food instead of fast, an attainable endeavor that reaps tremendous rewards. Kick off with prosperity-producing provisions, a gorgeous stew of fresh greens which symbolize green paper currency and black-eyed peas which resemble a handful of shiny coins. It might not make us rich or thin, but it’s easy, aromatic, delicious, and fresh.
The moment I started planning the New Years Day feast with black-eyed peas on the menu, the crew in my kitchen broke out into song, belting out the hits from The Black Eyed Peas and reminiscing about their performance at The Greenbrier a few summers back. It’s a full blown dance party in the kitchen, cue “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night.” After a bit of chopping and a long simmer, we have steamy bowls of satisfying soup. And a perfect start to another great year.
Cue the playlist, gather your group and start chopping.
I hope you’ll enjoy the cooking routine. When the next holiday season rolls around, you can enjoy and indulge without worry.
Prosperity in a Pot
Loosely adapted from a classic Persian recipe Aash, as shared by my friend Cosima Amelang. Chop the greens once you get the black-eyed peas simmering
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for serving
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 3 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
- 1 large bunch Swiss chard, leaves chopped and stems reserved for another use
- 1/2 pound fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 large leek, chopped*
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Sriracha is nice here)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- *for best results with leeks: trim the ends, remove the top greens and reserve for other use. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, slice thinly crosswise and rinse well in water. Lift them out into a strainer to drain.
Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin and saute 1 minute. Add the chopped ginger and cook another minute. Add the black-eyed peas and enough water to cover (about 2 quarts). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add the chopped chard, spinach, leek, green onions, and parsley. Stir well to combine and add additional water if needed just to cover the greens.
Cook over low heat for one hour, until black-eyed peas are just tender. Season with hot sauce, honey and lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for 15 minutes to infuse with the seasonings.
Serve, topping each portion with a swirl of olive oil.
Makes 8 servings