Despite how spectacular the flavors are, this recipe is actually easy to make. There may be a long list of ingredients, but besides the rice, everything is simply cooked together in one large pot. Oh, and one helpful piece of advice: if you are trying to avoid your neighbors, you may not want to make this at home since the robust aromas are guaranteed to draw everyone to your door. But it’s totally understandable: here, tender black-eyed peas are simmered with sautéed onions, mounds of garlic, crisp celery and bell peppers, and stirred with diced tomatoes, sliced cabbage and nine potent herbs like thyme, bay leaves, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Topped with toasted rice, shredded kale, halved cherry tomatoes, green onions, and thinly sliced okra, these colorful garnishes also add a satisfying texture and a pop of bright color.

Hoppin’ John With Okra and Tomato Stew [Vegan]

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Serves

8-10

Cooking Time

80

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black eyed peas
  • 2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 14 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sliced cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 3 quarts vegetable broth, no salt added
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cupsshredded kale or collard greens
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced okra

For the rice:

  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne

For garnish:

  • sliced green onions
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • flaky sea salt
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Preparation

  1. Rinse the black-eyed peas, and place them in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover the peas by several inches. Cover the bowl and let soak overnight, or at least 6 hours. Drain, then rinse the peas again, and set aside.
  2. Place an 8-quart pot over medium heat, and add 1/4 cup of the olive oil. When hot, add the diced onion, celery, and red and green peppers, and sauté until beginning to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cabbage, and cook until the cabbage softens, another 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. One at a time, add the seasonings to the pot, stirring between each addition: thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, nutmeg, cayenne, sugar, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, red wine vinegar, tamari, and liquid smoke. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, stir to combine, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, cherry and canned tomatoes, and bay leaves. Add the soaked black-eyed peas, and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the soup is simmering, make the rice. Place the uncooked rice in a dry skillet, and cook over medium heat until the rice smells toasted and begins to take on a slight golden color, 5 to 6 minutes, then transfer to a heatproof bowl to stop it from getting burned. Pour the water into a medium pot. Add the salt, bay leaves, olive oil, turmeric, and cayenne, and bring to a boil. When boiling, add the toasted rice, stir to combine, then cover pan and turn stove to the lowest possible setting. Cook for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed and rice is soft. Fluff with a fork. After the stew has simmered for 60 minutes, taste for salt and add more as needed, 1 to 2 teaspoons. When you’re almost ready to serve, add the sliced okra and shredded greens. Stir to combine, then cover and cook for 5 minutes. To serve, ladle stew into a bowl, top with a few scoops of rice, sliced green onions, cherry tomatoes, and a pinch of flaky sea salt, then serve hot, and enjoy!
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