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Vegetarian Hoppin’ John (Black Eyed Peas)

This recipe was served at our January Community Kitchen Dinner at Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands. The menu consisted of traditional Southern New Year’s food — “peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold!”
Yields about 12 cups of cooked beans.

  • 2 lbs. Black-eyed peas-soaked overnight
  • 10 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 2-3 Tablespoons, olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Applewood smoked salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to your taste)
  • More salt- to taste- if using water instead of stock


  1. Put black-eyed peas in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Cover with 10 cups of stock or water.
  2. Saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil, then add to pot. Add bay leaf, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  3. Turn heat up to high to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface and discard. Simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until peas are tender. Throughout cooking, add more water as necessary, always keeping liquid level one inch above surface, stirring occasionally.
  4. When done, turn off heat and taste-adjust seasoning as necessary.