VEGETARIAN HOPPIN’ JOHNS
Hoppin’ Johns are a southern classic featuring black eyed peas, and often eaten on New Year’s Day to bring good luck for the coming year (although I eat it all winter long!). My mother always cooked it with a ham hock, being the Georgia peach that she was. Below is my vegetarian version of her dish, using a little bit of liquid smoke to give it that punch, but without the ham!
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 2 green bell peppers, deseeded and chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (or Cajun seasoning)
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 5 cups kale (about 2 ½oz), chopped
- 2- 14oz/113g/397g cans black eyed peas
- 5oz/142g fresh cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 cup cut, roughly 16 tomatoes)
- 1- 4oz/113g can green mild chilies
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp liquid smoke
- 2 cups water or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- OPTIONAL GARNISH:
- Diced green onions
- Tobacco or hot sauce
Heat a 2 ½ or 3 quart pot on medium-high. Add olive oil and onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.
Add the carrot and bell pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, cayenne pepper, thyme and oregano and cook for 30 seconds to activate the flavors.
Add the kale, peas, tomatoes, chilies, salt, and liquid smoke, and mix well.
Pour in the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Place the lidded pot into your Wonderbag and seal for 6-7hours.
To Serve: Salt and pepper to taste, garnish with diced green onions and set some tabasco on the table for fearless! This dish goes well over rice, or with some crusty bread on the side to mop up all the yummy juices.