Sacred and Delicious


Food • Health • Spirituality


Auspicious New Beginnings with Black-Eyed Peas and Greens!

Ask any Southerner how to start the new year in the most auspicious way, and they won’t even blink before naming a bowl of Hoppin’ John or some other version of peas and greens—like this vegetarian Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards! Serving such a dish on New Year’s Day is thought to bring good luck because long ago black-eyed peas reminded someone of coins. The greens are said to bring prosperity because greens are associated with green cash. If you enjoy food history, you can read more about this legend at Southern Living  and Epicurious.

My Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Soup is filling because of the generous proportion of peas, and it is made even more satisfying by the addition of butternut squash, a favorite winter vegetable. If you serve this soup over rice, like a traditional Hoppin’ John, you will need little (if anything!) else at your New Year’s Day table.

How can you make your New Year’s Day even more auspicious? Let me say that, as much as I’m devoted to food, New Year’s Day always beckons me to go inside in contemplation, to be with my heart in stillness. At the beginning of the new year, my quietude takes on an eager anticipation. What do I want to create on the blank pages of my life during the year ahead? How can I be of most service? What spiritual practices and life activities will continue to expand my heart, helping me to embrace my soul’s purpose?

My husband, Tom, and I will start the year off by chanting and meditating with a group of fellow seekers, followed by a festive and abundant lunch—a joyful way to launch another year as we recall the many blessings in our lives.

Let me take this moment to wish each of you a very happy, fulfilling and healthy year ahead! My wish for the Sacred & Delicious community is for each of you to take some sacred time for yourselves as you begin the new year—and every day thereafter—whether it’s ten minutes or a few hours. Spend some time on your yoga mat or meditation cushion, in a church, temple, or mosque, or perhaps during a long hike in nature—whatever supports your ability to connect to the presence of the Divine in your life. And if you happen to be hosting or participating in a potluck with your extended family or community of friends on New Year’s Day, I invite you to take along this recipe for good fortune: Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards!

Lisa J. Mitchell

P.S.  I’m having some technical difficulties with links in the recipe section, so I’m adding them here. You’ll  find my recipe for Easy Vegetarian Soup Stock and  a link to purchase Salish Alderwood Smoked Salt.




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