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Black Eyed Pea and Collard Soup

I made this for New Year’s Day lunch in a big batch to meet all of our superstitions for a prosperous new year. I’m glad I have enough leftover to freeze for another time because it is a really healthy meal that just makes me feel good too. Like all of my favorite recipes, its really easy to make.

What you need:

1 small yellow onion

2 stalks celery

4 cloves garlic

1 bell pepper

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

2 cups of chicken stock

4 cups water

1 ham shank

2 cups fresh black eyed peas (canned are ok too)

2 large bunches of collard greens

2 tbsp vinegar

2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

Chop your onion, pepper, and celery into small pieces and add to a large stock pot with a bit of olive oil and add 1.5 tsp of salt and pepper. Stir them around for a few minutes over medium heat. When the vegetables have softened move them to the outer edges and place your ham shank in the center. Sear on each side for about 3 minutes. Now add your fresh herbs and garlic and stir around for a minute until the garlic smells really fragrant and has softened up a bit. Add your chicken stock and water and another tsp of salt and pepper, bring the water up to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Meanwhile clean your collards and chop them up, I like to remove most of the stems. Throw them into the pot and let simmer for at least one hour but up to 2 is completely fine. When you are satisfied with your collards, use tongs and pull the ham shank out of the pot. Now add your black eyed peas, fresh ones take about 20 minutes to cook through and canned ones will only take about 5. Let it cool for a minute and pull as much meat as you can off the ham bone and add it back into the soup. Finish with 2 tbsp of vinegar and red pepper flakes. Serving this soup with corn bread is always a good idea : )

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