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Hoppin' John Recipe

Try Your Luck With Hoppin' John Soup

When the revelry of New Year's Eve has come and gone, it'll be time for me to draw up that list of New Year's resolutions. I don't know about you, but with the list of changes I'm vowing to make this year, I'm going to need any good fortune I can get. That's why I'm enlisting the help of hoppin' John.

A New Year's fixture on every Southern table, this mélange of black-eyed peas, ham, onions, and rice is said to bring prosperity to anyone who eats it. Blackeyeds, as they're called in the South, are symbolic of coins and affluence; collard greens, with their leaves the color of currency, are another. Supposedly, more pork also means more luck — but that might just be an excuse to enjoy more of the pig.

When New Year's arrives this time around, consider passing the day with a comforting pot of hoppin' John soup. It makes a ton, which means, presumably, that you'll have plenty of luck to go around in the next dozen months.

Hoppin' John Soup

Hoppin' John Soup


1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 smoked ham bone or 2 hocks
1⁄4 cup canola oil
1⁄2 cup cooked ham, finely chopped
1⁄4 teaspoon red chile flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 pound collard greens, ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
5 cups long-grain white rice, cooked
Chopped scallions, for garnish


  1. Bring peas, ham bone, and 8 cups water to a boil in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, skimming foam occasionally, until peas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain peas, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid along with ham bone; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a 12-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped ham, chiles, garlic, jalapeños, carrot, onion, celery, and bay leaf, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add reserved black-eyed peas, ham bone, and reserved cooking liquid, along with collards and 12 cups water.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until collards are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon rice into bowls, ladle soup over rice, and add garnish.
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U2forlife U2forlife 6 years
Um, I don't know who your Southern "consultant" is, but this is not traditional Southern New Year's food. You got the black eyed peas right, but serve those with collard greens and you have it, not hoppin johns. I know y'all aren't from the South, but it really shows when you post something and claim it's Southern tradition (like the post several months ago that claimed sliced bar-b-que was traditional NC BBQ).
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 6 years
I have been serving Hoppin' John on New Year's for about a decade. Different variations but the same basic ingredients. It is a fun and delicious tradition! :) BTW, I always use ham hocks instead of just ham. Better flavor.
x3Lorelei x3Lorelei 6 years
lol. i've never heard anybody called black eyed peas blackeyes... and the ham is supposed to be for health. this looks really good, i'm so used to just eating ham and black eyed peas but this makes a nice twist
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 6 years
Hoppin John is Soul Food, not standard Southern food
kia kia 6 years
The soup looks really good. We will do standard hop'n'john, greens, and cornbread. Well maybe not standard, minus the pork.
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