Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Day Soup

I am a creature of habit...I tend to stick with what I know, only exploring new options in the confines of my kitchen.  I am not much for resolutions since I rarely stick with them and feel it to be masochistic to set myself up for failure, but I have made a decision...a change in perspective really, so definitely NOT a resolution.  This year I am going to be different, do different and think differently. 

Not that my old ways were necessarily wrong, but I am ready for something new, something different so here it goes!

For the first time in my life my Christmas tree won't be down before New Year's Day, my house is still covered in all things Santa and Baby Jesus, and I don't plan on doing anything about that for at least another week.

I thought this was also the time to change up how I serve my New Year's Day meal.

For years I have baked a ham, cooked my collards and black eyed peas (separately of course) all day and called this the answer to a year ahead filled with love, luck and prosperity!

After tasting a delicious soup my sister-in-law made recently which included sausage and black eyed peas and thinking that would be awesome mixed with the kale, bean and tomato soup I have made for years I thought there was no reason to have all my luck, love and prosperity combined into one dish!

After a little taste testing here is what I came up with!  

New Year's Eve Soup
1 lb. dried black eyed peas
1 pound spicy sausage
1 ham steak
6 cups chicken broth
2 lbs. collard greens
1 yellow onion, diced
5 carrots, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Soak the black eyed peas overnight.  If you don't have time to soak them over night put them in a sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 hours adding water as needed.
Remove the tough stem from each leaf of the collard greens.  
Soak the greens in cold water for 30 minutes to remove any grittiness.  
In a large stock pot add the chicken broth and remaining ingredients.  
Add the collard greens slowly as they will cook down and they will all fit in there eventually!
Bring to a boil.  Allow to simmer until ready to serve.  
Serve with Tabasco and corn bread!
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