New Year’s Day, when I was a kid growing up in Atlanta, meant two things. My father watched football on TV and a my mother made the traditional southern New Year’s Day meal: pork roast, sweet potatoes, corn bread and for good luck, black-eyed peas and collard greens. Lucky for me my favorite dishes in this meal are the peas and the greens.
For years I have been in searching for a black-eyed pea and collard green soup or stew. Most recipes I have tried seemed to be missing something, but recently I stumbled on a recipe based on a one I have by Lorna Sass from her book “Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen”. So armed with both recipes, I came up with this. I wanted my version to include only seasonal ingredients, so I left out the bell pepper and used tomatoes I had dried last summer. I also added some fresh herbs and liquid smoke. This might become a New Year’s Day tradition in our house. It sure is a lot easier than the meal my mother made.
1 large onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups dried black-eyed peas
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 chipotle peppers (to taste)
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cups water
1 teaspoon beef or beef flavored broth paste
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 pound collard greens, tough stems removed and greens chopped
Soak peas in water over night, then drain.
Splash olive oil in a large pot and saute onions and celery until tender. Add peas, tomatoes, chipotle, liquid smoke, thyme, bay leaves, and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until peas are tender.
Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 25 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Serve with corn bread and sweet pickle relish.