Every year since I can remember on new years day my family and I would go to my grandma Adele's house on New years day for "Good Luck Soup" ( folklore has it that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck and money) so that is what we always had for dinner of course we would also have a roast, pasta, salad, veggies, bread and dessert... who just east soup for dinner at her house??? I have always loved it. Last year while I was away from my family on new years I thought I would get the recipe from my grandma and try it myself. So many memories flooded in with my first spoonful. I love the soup, I love the tradition and I am not above just having a nice big bowl or two of soup for dinner! Enjoy and HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!
2 cans black-eyed peas rinsed
2 to 3 pounds of ham hocks, cut in 2-inch pieces (I like to use ham shanks they have more meat on them)
Chicken stock, as needed
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch of kale
1/2 teaspoon each of oregano, thyme and basil
2 bay leaves
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place ham hocks in a large pot. Add enough water to cover. Simmer for 2 hours or until tender. Remove meat from bones. Reserve meat, discard bones. Pour liquid (ham stock) from the pot into a large measuring container. Add enough chicken stock to make at least 6 to 8 cups of liquid. Return liquid to pot and add peas.
Add vegetables and spices to pot and bring to a boil. Remove center stems from kale and chop coarsely. Add kale and ham to pot, cover and continue cooking until kale is tender. Season with salt and Tabasco to taste and serve with Simmer for about an hour. Peas should be tender but not mushy. Remove bay leaves and serve.
This dish can be reheated for later serving, but don't cook too long, or the peas will break up.