This vegan hoppin’ John is made with smokey simmered black eyed peas, spices and chard. Perfect for New Year’s, or pretty much any day of the year!
I first learned of this dish a few years back from a friend who’d gotten in the habit of preparing a big pot of the stuff on New Year’s day, as I understand is done in many homes, particularly in the southern states. Her version was meatless, and I believe totally vegan, though I never got around to confirming or trying it. When I decided to make up a batch of my own, I found a bunch of recipes that called for ham or bacon. It seems like this is an ingredient that some, but not all, like to include. I decided to include only my favorite part of bacon, the smoke, which comes conveniently bottled and totally vegan. I also threw in some chard, to flavor and healthy things up a bit, and also to add some variety as a stand in for collards, which I understand are another optional ingredient.
On a side note, the idea behind the dish is frugality – eat cheap on New Year’s, be blessed with abundance for the next twelve months, so I’m thinking the whole optional ingredients thing supports that.
I ate my hoppin’ John over quinoa for sheer variety, but if you prefer rice, go with it.
The dish turned out daaaaaamn tasty. It was one of those moments at which I’m surprised at how delicious something so simple can be.
This recipe makes a big batch. It’s also super easy to throw together. So it’s perfect in all kinds of ways if you’ve got a New Year’s crowd to feed.
Smoky Vegan Hoppin' John with Chard
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 lb. dried black eyed peas
- 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 bunch about 3/4 lb. Swiss chard leaves, sliced into strips
- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper hot sauce or to taste
- 4 scallions chopped
- cooked rice or quinoa for serving
- Place olive oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, celery, onion and bell pepper. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add broth, black eyed peas, liquid smoke, bay leaves, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne, pepper and salt. Stir a few times and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until peas are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Add a bit of water to the pot if it gets too dry. Discard bay leaves.
- Add chard and stir a few times. Allow to simmer about 3 more minutes, until chard leaves are wilted. Season with hot sauce.
- Serve over rice or quinoa. Top with scallions.