Every year I make a slightly different version of this soup. It's always got to have black eyed peas, of course, because eating those delightful little babies on New Year's Day brings you prosperity and luck in the whole long year to come.
Because duh. That's a known fact. That's just science. But the rest of the ingredients? They tend to be more of an improvisation.
As is, ultimately, the whole long year to come.
I've been eating much, much healthier this last little while than I have in my whole life -- so much so that I've lost 90 pounds since July 2012 -- so this year's version is considerably lighter than the one I made last year. No salt pork, no bacon, a bit less olive oil than before. But it's no less delicious.
And hey, if it makes you feel any better, I totally wolfed down a massive bowl of this soup today on this fine, sunny New Year's Day with a side of the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich, made with crusty rye bread and some sharp, sharp cheese.
Because cheese is good luck, too. Everybody knows that.
Black Eyed Pea Soup 2014
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 cups onion, diced
2 cups purple topped turnip, diced
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
7 cups chicken or veg stock
Salt and pepper
1 15 oz can cooked black eyed peas, rinsed
6 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 pinch ground cumin
1 bay leaf
Saute the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the turnip, broth, rice, salt, pepper, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 35 minutes. Add the black beans. Simmer for another 10 minutes, until the rice is cooked. Add the lemon juice and cumin and stir well. Remove the bay leaf and serve hot, preferably with some amazing crusty bread and some sharp, sharp cheese.
Adapted from the excellent, luminous, and utterly un-put-downable cookbook Twelve Months of Monastery Soups.