Yes, I am a “little bit” behind. The holidays have been (shall I say) hectic for me. I have one son home from college and another son looking forward to college. I have had “big” kids in and out of my house. I have simmered and stewed. I have filled backpacks with snacks. I have fed for hikes and bikes. I served fresh bread and muffins. There were cookies and cakes. I baked and they ate.
One thing that I didn’t do very much was blog. There were a couple of reasons for this lapse. (1.) I have one broken camera and one new camera. The broken camera speaks for itself. It’s broke. Mr. Picky Head insisted on buying me a new camera (that is the kind of husband he is.) This camera is beyond my wildest dreams and expectations. It is unbelievable! It is also beyond my skill level. There is a huge learning curve, but I will prevail. Now on the reason number two. (2.) When you have big hungry boys in and out of your kitchen, there is virtually no time to stop the feeding frenzy for a few photos. That is until I simmered a pot of Black-eyed Pea Soup.
Somehow this one pot of soup stopped the feeding frenzy dead in its tracks. I explained to these boys that eating black-eyed peas for the New Year represented luck. That one bowl would bring them good fortune for the months to come in 2010. Long story very short, they weren’t buying it. Out the door they went in search of fast food that would put as much distance as possible between them and my pot of Black-eyed Pea Soup. Their loss is my windfall and that is all I am going to say about that!
Gin’s 2010 Black-eyed Pea Soup
1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
3 smoked ham hocks
1⁄2 stick butter
3 cups finely chopped cooked ham
1 tablespoon dried red chili pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 small bag of baby carrots, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
4 cups good quality chicken stock
1 large bag of baby spinach or your choice of greens
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground
black pepper, to taste
5 cups cooked brown rice
Chopped scallions, red onions, Sriracha Sauce and crackers for garnish
(1) Bring peas, ham hocks, and 8 cups water to a boil in a 12-qt. Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, skimming foam occasionally, until peas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain peas, reserving cooking liquid and ham hocks. (2) Simmer butter in a 12-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped ham, dried red chili pepper flakes, garlic, jalapeños, carrots, onion, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. (3) Add reserved black-eyed peas, ham hocks, reserved cooking liquid, along with chicken broth and 8 cups of water. (4) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1/2 hour. (5) Remove ham hocks. Add spinach and cook until done. (6) Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon rice into bowls and ladle soup over rice. Garnish to your taste. (7) ENJOY!
I believe in positive thinking so I am saying 2010 is going to be a great year.