Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a fun yet relaxing start to the New Year last week- I took some much needed time away from work, blogging, social media, and the like to re-energize, center, and refresh my focus for the new year. It was absolutely wonderful and I have some EXCITING things in store for you all this year, just wait! I’m back today to start off the New Year with a meal that I’ve been lovin’ the past week, Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup, a traditional new year food.
The most traditional meal to eat on New Years Day is the classic dish of black-eyed peas served with greens, ham/pork, and sauerkraut. I’m turning this traditional meal into a vegan friendly soup, Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup. It’s warming, comforting, incredibly healthy, delicious, and leaves you feeling satisfied and ready to tackle the new year ahead of you.
Since as long as I can remember, my parents would always make pork, beans, greens, and sauerkraut on New Years Day and I never understood why until I was old enough to research it on my own. It’s a traditional meal mostly in the United States for a couple of reasons based on tradition but also a bit of superstition. There’s a saying that comes along with this dish “eat poor on New Years Eve and eat fat for the rest of the year” or along those lines- referring to wealth, prosperity, and success. Another philosophy behind this meal is the symbolic nature of dry beans. Dry beans resemble “coins” and while dry they’re small represent “less wealth”, but when soaked and cooked they expand representing expanding wallets and prosperity.
I think it’s a great tradition to engage in, but I never liked pork and certainly don’t consume it now- therefore, I introduce you to my take on this classic dish in a vegan soup form. You can eat this recipe as a soup as pictured or you can try out it my favorite way: strain most of the broth and plate the black-eyed peas with all the veggies on a bed of quinoa or rice + top with sauerkraut + a dash of hot sauce = amazing.
I love using kale greens in soups and stews because it’s such a hearty green that it doesn’t become mushy like other greens would when cooked. The black-eyed peas are chewy and full of fiber and protein, perfect to make this a hearty and satisfying meal. The combination of these plant-based foods not only taste great, but it’s a great way to start of your new year especially when health is your top priority.
- 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
- 4 cups organic kale, chopped
- 6 large carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- dash of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (vegetable stock will have some salt in it- use this to taste)
- black pepper to taste
- Garnish with hot sauce
- In a saucepan on medium heat, add coconut oil and onions and cook until softened. Add in celery, carrots, and garlic and cook until the mixture is nice and caramelized and cooked through (look for the onions to get slightly golden brown and reduced).
- Add spices, salt, and pepper to this mixture.
- In a large pot or crockpot (which is what I used), pour in vegetable stock, beans, and kale.
- Add the sauteed mixture of onions, carrots, celery into the Crockpot and let cook on "high" for 2 hours, stiring occasionally, and cooking for another 1-2 hours on "warm" or until the beans are cooked.
- If you're using a large pot on the stove, simply cook on medium heat for 2 hours or until the beans are nice and soft.
- Note: you have a lot of flexibility in the cooking process- if you enjoy your beans very cooked/very soft simply cook for much longer. If you like your vegetables and beans not as soft, cook for less time.
- Stir occasionally and taste test to find your happy medium.
I love to serve this soup with a side of gluten free cornbread, favorite pajamas, and cozy slippers. Now you’re ready to lounge, relax, cozy up with a great book or movie, piece of paper and pen to set intensions for the year, and bring in the new year right. The cornbread that I love using is Bob’s Red Mill gluten free corn bread mix and you can make it with egg (as the recipe calls for) or to make vegan just use a flax egg (1 Tbs. flax seed + 3 Tbs. water) and it still turns out perfectly!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do- I’ll be making and eating it all day long! Be sure to click “SAVE” to your Recipe Box for future use. Also, I’d love to get your feedback on something- what would you like to see most on Nutrition Stripped besides recipes? Share below!
With love and gratitude,