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Winter Cookbook: Black-eyed peas and greens New Year good luck soup

A New Year's tradition
A New Year's tradition

Happy Greens and Beans Day! Well, actually, here in the South, that's greens and peas day. Why, you ask? Simply put, greens (as in turnip greens) represents money (the green variety) and black eyed peas loosely represent a coin in their dried state. Because black eyed peas expand when they cook, they are also said to represent expanding wealth. In other words, eating greens and beans (peas) means you will be given good luck in the New Year; translation, money will come to you.

Whether we believe these delicious and nutritious food choices will bring good luck to us in the New Year or not, they are a fabulously healthy choice for a meal on this brand new day of a brand new year. Eating black eyed peas is also a tradition, thought to have begun as far back as the 1700s by Jews and brought to the south about a century later by the same, a tradition you might want to start, or continue, with your loved ones. To that end, below is a delicious greens and beans (pea) recipe that you can try today. And … Good luck in the New Year!

Black Eyed Peas and Greens New Year Good Luck Soup


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 3 stalks celery, diced small
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • ½ to 1 cup diced ham
  • 4 cups lower salt chicken broth
  • 2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (15 or 16 ounce cans)
  • 1 ½ cup frozen chopped turnip greens, thawed and drained (spinach will work too)
  • 1 large can Italian diced tomatoes and juice
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon Oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Saute onion, celery and pepper in olive oil until tender. Add ham and cook until caramelized a little. Add all other ingredients and cook on simmer for about an hour. Serve with a nice, toasted piece of wheat bread for dipping.
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