In the Southern United States, it's a New Year's tradition to eat certain foods. Black-eyed peas are said to represent coins and greens are representative of paper money. Hoppin' John is a dish made with pork, rice and peas. Instead of the regular version, I decided to go a little further and make a spicy, vegetable rich soup that incorporates Cajun Sausage, rice, black-eyed peas and kale. If you need to make a larger batch for your gathering, add another can of peas and another 1/2 cup of rice along with another cup or two or chicken stock. This is a very forgiving recipe that you can add a little more of this or reduce a little of that.
1 pound Cajun seasoned sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 T. chopped garlic
4 cups chicken stock
2 cans diced tomatoes (I used Rotel tomatoes, but you can certainly use plain diced tomatoes)
2 cans black eyed peas
3/4 cup uncooked rice
4 cups (packed) trimmed kale
In a 5 quart Dutch oven, over medium high heat, brown sausage slices until nicely browned.
Add onions, celery and bell pepper and, stirring frequently, let vegetables cook 5 minutes or so until they begin to soften. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Add chicken stock, tomatoes and peas and reduce heat to allow the soup to simmer for at least an hour. Stir occasionally to make sure the soup is not beginning to stick.
During the last 20 minutes or so of cooking, add kale and rice. When rice is soft and cooked through, you are ready to eat!
I hope you enjoy!