Hoppin’ John Updated – A Traditional Southern New Year’s Dish

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Hoppin’ John is a traditional Southern dish eaten on New Year’s Day. Most recipes are made with leftover ham or bacon from holiday feasting. Some say the sound of dried beans hitting one another evokes the noise of coins clinking together and will bring prosperity or luck. Adding greens is said to draw green (money). Other people insist it is a good hangover cure. It is also a nice warming stew for a cold January day. Whatever your reason, enjoy!


  • 4 cups black eyed peas (if canned, remember to drain, if dried, remember to soak)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 5 cups broth
  • 2 bunches kale, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika, or to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • Cooked rice


  1. Sauté onion and celery in oil over medium heat in a large pot.
  2. When it starts to change color, add in garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  3. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in beans and paprika and reduce heat to low. Cook 20 minutes.
  5. Add kale and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Toss with vinegar and rice just before serving.

Chef Bio

Chef Jen owns and operates a personal chef service called Dinner Vacations, serving clients in New York’s Capital Region and the Adirondacks. She can frequently be found at the Schenectady Greenmarket early on Sunday mornings. You can also reach her at chef@dinnervacations.com or visit her business website www.dinnervacations.com to see other recipes, food photos and her blog.



Schenectady Greenmarket’s Fresh Taste Table is sponsored in part by In the Night Kitchen, a non-profit farm whose primary focus is to bring awareness and relief to childhood hunger through donation, education and community.