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. 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  2. 1 smoked ham bone or 2 hocks
  3. 1⁄4 cup canola oil
  4. 1⁄2 cup cooked ham, finely chopped
  5. 1⁄4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  6. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  7. 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  8. 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  9. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  10. 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 1 pound collard greens, ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped
  13. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  14. Kosher salt, to taste
  15. Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  16. 5 cups long-grain white rice, cooked
  17. 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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