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Black-Eyed Pea Chili with Lucky Greens

Black-Eyed Pea Chili with Lucky Greens

A popular food to eat on New Year’s Day, black-eyed peas are said to symbolize prosperity by plumping as they cook, and they are utilized in the beloved southern American dish, Hoppin’ John. Here, black-eyed peas are paired with another traditional food thought to bring good fortunes in the New Year, greens (the color of money) to double our luck and increase the nutritional profile. Usually one thinks of collards for New Year’s Day greens but here I am using spinach because it’s quick cooking and fuss-free. I can’t promise that this chili will bring prosperity into your life in 2015 but there is no harm in trying and, hey, you’ll get a delicious chili out of the deal. By the way, this can also be cooked on the stovetop and with already cooked black-eyed peas.

Black-Eyed Pea Chili with Lucky Greens

2 cups black-eyed peas, softened using precooking method*
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 large carrot, diced
4 – 4 1/3 cups low sodium vegetable broth, divided
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon chili powder (or more)
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
28 ounces crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted is best if you can find it)
˝ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
2 cups defrosted frozen corn
5 ounces baby spinach
Avocado slices, scallions, sour cream, etc. for toppings…

First, soften the black-eyed peas by boiling in a saucepan with water to cover by at least two inches. Boil for two minutes, cover, and remove pan from heat. Let the peas stand for one hour, then drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 cup of vegetable stock or two tablespoons olive oil. Sauté for four minutes, add the garlic, celery, carrots, basil, chili powder, thyme, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the carrots are softened, about five minutes, adding small amounts of broth if needed to keep from sticking.

Add to a large slow cooker with the bay leaves, precooked black-eyed peas, crushed tomatoes, four cups of vegetable broth and cook on low for six hours.  The last 15 minutes, stir in the liquid smoke, defrosted corn and baby spinach.  Remove the bay leaves, top with avocado slices, scallions, sour cream, etc., and enjoy!

© 2015, Vegan Street

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