This vegan hoppin’ John is made with smoky simmered black-eyed peas, spices and chard. Perfect for New Year’s, or pretty much any day of the year!
This is an almost conventional version of a New Year’s classic. It’s cheap and healthy and I didn’t even have to break tradition all that much to make it that way.
I first learned of this dish a few years back from a friend who had gotten in the habit of preparing a big pot of the stuff on New Year’s day. I’d never heard of the dish before, but now I know that it’s kind of a New Year’s day tradition in lots of homes in the U.S.
Her version was meatless, and I think 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 that’s a popular ingredient in most versions of the dish. I decided to include only my favorite part of bacon, the smoke, which comes conveniently bottled and in totally vegan form. 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 in more traditional versions.
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’ve eaten this hoppin’ John a bunch of times over both rice (traditional) and quinoa (not so traditional). Either way, it’s super delicious and satisfying.
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
This vegan hoppin' John is made with smoky simmered black-eyed peas, spices and chard. Perfect for New Year's, or pretty much any day of the year!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 pound dried black eyed peas, soaked in water 8 hours or overnight
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bunch (about 3/4 lb.) Swiss chard leaves, sliced into strips
- salt, to taste
- Cayenne pepper hot sauce, to taste
- 4 scallions chopped
- cooked rice or quinoa for serving
Place the olive oil in large pot and set over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery, onion and bell pepper. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth, black eyed peas, liquid smoke, bay leaves, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne and black pepper. Stir a few times and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until the peas are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 50 minutes. Add a bit of water to the pot if it gets too dry.
Add the chard and stir a few times. Allow to simmer about 3 more minutes, until the chard leaves are wilted. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper hot sauce to taste. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Serve over rice or quinoa. Top with scallions and additional hot sauce.
Nutrition information does not include rice or quinoa.