New Year's Day Southern Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe

I know I'm a few days behind here, but I wanted to share my New Year Black Eyed Pea Soup recipe and bring good luck to all of you this year! Growing up in the south, my mother always made Black Eyed Pea soup every New Year's Day because it's said to bring good luck and prosperity. It's a long standing southern tradition - the black eyed peas swell when cooked, symbolizing prosperity and growth, the greens symbolize money and good fortune, and the pork symbolized positive motion because pigs root forward when foraging.

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Ingredients:

1 can black eyed peas
1 cup lentils
2 tablespoons of butter
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 large yellow or red onion, diced
3 cups of smoked ham, chopped
6-8 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a skillet, heat butter. Saute celery and onion on medium-low heat until tender. While cooking, bring chicken broth to a boil.

2. Drain lentils and black eyed pea and add into the pot of chicken broth. Add sauteed vegetables, ham and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. If you want thicker soup, uncover for the last 5 minutes.

3. Let the soup cool for about 5-10 minutes and serve with crackers. Enjoy and may each of you have a great 2017!