author • speaker • journalist • coach

Recipes & Food Styling

Hoppin’ John (Black-Eyed Pea Stew)

Dec 31, 2023 | Food Styling, Recipes, Soups, Stews

Black-eyed peas for good luck and prosperity – on New Year’s Eve or any day!

Looking through emails to find an address to send a holiday gift, I came across an old friend’s recipe and cooking notes for Black-Eyed Pea Stew – or “Hoppin’ John” as it is known in the South where it gained popularity as New Year’s Eve good luck charm.

“Feel free to throw in any ingredients that fit your mood – Italian seasonings, jalapeño peppers, etc.!” Karla wrote.

I followed her advice, and cooked in kielbasa from down the road at Country Fresh Meats.

I was also going to have lobster and crab legs, so added in a lot of spice for a cioppino-style stew.

There is not proof that black-eyed peas bring good luck, but their nutritional benefits are solid. They provide calcium, iron, and fiber.

Here is my recipe! Happy New Year!

Hoppin’ John (Black Eyed Pea Stew)

1 16-ounce bag black-eyed peas (dry)

1 cup chopped applewood smoked bacon

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped red onion

¼ cup chopped green or red bell pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 4.5-ounce tube tomato paste

6 large vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

5 kielbasa sausages, cut ½-inch thick

¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black peppercorns

¼ tsp hot Hungarian paprika

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

½ cup chopped fresh parsley and / or cilantro

2 bay leaves

In a Dutch oven or a large pot, cover the black-eyed peas with water and soak for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Using a strainer, rinse and drain the black-eyed peas, and set aside.

In the Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown the bacon. Add the olive oil, celery, onion, and bell peppers, and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and tomato paste, and stir.

Add the black-eyed peas, tomatoes, chicken stock, meat, and spices.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-high. Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

At the end, stir in the fresh parsley and cilantro. Top with cilantro as a garnish, and serve!