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Easy Hoppin'John with Black Eyed Peas


If you are ready for a big bowl of black eyed peas, this great southern dish is the perfect recipe

While eating black-eyed peas is a traditional New Year's ritual in the South (it brings good luck, especially if you eat them right after midnight), this recipe can be enjoyed throughout the year.

You can always start with dried peas, which is the preferred method, but when you are in a hurry, the canned version will work almost as well. As with so many recipes, feel free to add your own favorites to the mix; black-eyed peas are hard to mess up!

Easy Hoppin' John
(makes approximately 8 servings)

2 cans black-eyed peas
1 pound beef sausage, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup dry rice
2 chicken bouillon cubes (low sodium)
1 jalapeno pepper, quartered (optional)
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf (remove after cooking)

Saute sausage to brown; drain grease and add to large pot. Saute onion, pepper, and celery until semi-crisp and add to pot. Drain peas and add. Combine basil, thyme, cumin, and pepper and stir in. Add bouillon cube, jalapeno, and bay leaf. Fill with water and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes.
Prepare rice according to directions and combine with soup. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes and serve.

Note: you can also add a can of tomatoes of your choice to add another flavor level.

There are many variations to Hoppin' John, which is also one of the famous "in-a-jar" gift treats. Just combine the dry ingredients and a recipe card and you can give good luck to friends and family for New Year's or any time. (For the jar recipe, include ½ pound of dried peas.)

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