Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Day and a Good Luck soup recipe

Happy New Year! I hope yours was lovely and relaxing. Or fun and exciting. That's what our New Year's Eves used to be, but now we are very happy with lovely and relaxing. :) We have had a sick little babe for a week now which is NO FUN at the holidays, but she's managed to keep a smile throughout most of her feeling bad, for which this mama is SO grateful. My heart breaks seeing her hurt.

So, due to the little one being under the weather, I decided we should have a day of yummy food, cozy at home. We started the day with a great brunch of delicious omelets (hubby-made), French baked donuts, bacon, and grapefruit mimosas. Mmmm. I made the donuts last year on NYD, too, so this is our new tradition!

After brunch we took down Christmas, which is always sad for me. But, it is nice that it generally spurs us on to do a little tidying up around the house. It sure is hard to keep a house clean with a little one! Ours is slightly better after yesterday.

So, back to our day of yummy food. For an early dinner I made us a New Year's Day soup. In the South, we always have black-eyed peas and ham (and sometimes greens) for good luck in the New Year. I decided to make ours into a soup, since we had lots of carrots and delicious greens from our weekly veggie delivery. I would say this is a step up from previous years where I've just heated a can of the peas and smothered them in ketchup. Ha. Don't judge. Try it. Anyhoo, here is the recipe:

New Year's Day Good Luck Soup

1/2 - 1 c. onion, diced
2 c. carrots, diced
2 TBSP oil (I used ghee- it's better for you at high heat than olive oil- you could use grass-fed butter)
1 TBSP thyme
1 TBSP sweet basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ham steak, pre-cooked and cubed
2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 c. water
2 cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch of greens, washed thoroughly and chopped, stems removed
salt & pepper to taste

Melt oil/butter/ghee in a large stockpot on medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add carrots, thyme, basil, and a few pinches of kosher salt. Sauté for a couple of minutes to add a bit of roast-yness to the carrots. Add garlic and ham and brown for another couple of minutes. Add the chicken/veggie broth and water and a couple more pinches of salt. Turn up the heat, bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until carrots are mostly cooked (20-30 minutes). Add the black eyed peas and greens, cover, and cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add freshly ground black pepper and more salt, if needed, to taste. Serve with cornbread or crusty French bread. Enjoy your good luck for the coming year! (Approx. 6 servings.)

I hope you'll try this out. It was really easy and doesn't have to cook too long, like some soups, since the ham and black-eyed peas are already cooked. Of course, it would be best for you to buy dried beans and cook them yourself, but the mama of a little one doesn't remember to do things like that...pre-planning and soaking things the night before?! Someday.

Happy New Year to you. I will be posting some fun(ish) resolutions soon. 


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