#15 Still snowed in

Check out this icicle on the green house.

Still snowed in.  We spent three hours shoveling the drive yesterday and I got sunburned on the only skin that was exposed—the tops of my cheeks and nose.  I know, I know, one should always wear sunscreen—but when it is 13 degrees it was not on my radar.  I was more concerned with finding long underwear, ear wraps, scarves, thermal socks, gloves, hats, etc. 

Faced with another day spent inside, I decided to go through my recipes I have saved on my hard drive and try to organize them a bit better.  Since I am not even halfway through our self-imposed soup challenge, I was specifically looking for any soup recipes that were still lurking on the fringes of my computer. 

I found a recipe that I had entered into some sort of light cooking contest.  It is pretty tasty, even with chicken sausage!  Is it really a soup?  Who knows, but it would be good on another snow-bound day.

Healthier Hoppin’ John

1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 ¼ cups)
1 cup celery, chopped with leaves
1 cup carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans black-eyed peas
1 quart chicken stock
Bay leaf (fresh is best)
½ teaspoon dried thyme (not ground)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 (12oz.)  pkg of a spicy chicken sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (I used spicy jalapeno chicken sausage.)
1 T. cider vinegar
3 green onions, chopped
2 cups cooked rice

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic;  cook for 4 minutes.  Season vegetables with salt and pepper.  Add black-eyed peas and stock. 

Then, add bay leaf, thyme, and seasonings (salt, pepper and cayenne).  Bring to boil and then simmer,  covered,  for 30 minutes. Add sausage continue to simmer for 20 minutes more.  If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock.  Stir in vinegar before serving.

 Adjust seasonings, mix green onions with the hot rice.  Place Hoppin’ John in serving bowls and place a scoop of hot rice mixture on top.

We always try to eat some black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. (Hmmm–did I actually make anything with black-eyed peas this year?)  I better go make some now to atone!)  This is really tasty, but feel free to revert back to using bacon fat and andouille sausage if you feel a bit more indulgent than healthy.

Qualifying Statement:  This is by no means and authentic Southern recipe, just my take on it.

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