I rang in the new year last night by eating 12 grapes, popping one in for each chime of the clock at midnight. It's a Spanish tradition and I'm guessing it's for luck for each month of the year.
Here in the South, it's tradition to eat black eyed peas and collard greens with ham hock on New Year's Day for good luck. (I usually skip the ham hock. Shhh! Don't tell my Mama!) We're celebrating today with a New Year's brunch with friends and neighbors. Black eye peas and collard greens aren't exactly brunchy food, but I felt compelled to bring it anyway to share the good luck with my yankee friends!
Here is a great recipe for the day that's both gluten-free and dairy free!
Black Eyed Pea & Collard Green Soup
This hearty soup combines two lucky foods, black-eyed peas and collard greens, with vegetables and smoky ham. Enjoy on New Year's Day, or any day, for a satisfying, warming meal. Serve with gluten-free cornbread, or thick slices of toasted crusty bread. If you prefer your soup to have a thicker consistency, mash some of the cooked peas against the side of the pot, then stir them back into the broth before adding the collard greens and carrots.
1 can of rinsed black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 pound cooked Black Forest ham or smoked turkey breast, cut into small cubes (optional)
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups low-sodium (gluten-free) chicken broth
1 bunch collard greens, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced (or a can of collard greens)
4 carrots, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Carefully pick through peas to remove any debris or small stones and rinse well. Transfer to a large bowl, cover by 3 inches with water, cover and set aside at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight; drain and rinse well. Of course, if you choose to use a can of black-eyed peas, you may skip this part!
Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, ham and celery and cook until onion is translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Add peas and broth, bring to a boil and skim off and discard any foam on the surface. Add collard greens and carrots simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and serve.