December 30, 2011

Good Luck Soup: A New Year's Tradition

One of my fondest memories of New Year’s dates back to a few years ago when my parents and I spent the holiday in North Carolina at a friend’s lake house. Snow was blanketing the water, but all we needed was a bottle of jagermeister and the hot tub to have a jolly ole time. We ran wildly out of the house and dashed through the snowy winter-scape to the hot tub, laughing all the way.  

This is my first recollection of my parents preparing the traditional New Year’s Day feast. We devoured all of the good luck foods including black eyed peas (for growth), ham (for progress), corn bread (for wealth), and greens (for prosperity). Oh, and dark chocolate cognac cake (just because). 

The happy memories from that trip floated through my mind while I cooked a pot of Good Luck Soup. The memories made the soup taste that much better. Instead of corn bread on the side I topped the soup with mini ham and cheese sandwiches. These little crouton impersonators were the perfect twist.  

I wish all of my friends and family a happy and prosperous New Year. Keep cooking and smiling!  

Good Luck Soup (Adapted from PaulaDeen)
Serves: 10
Cook Time: 80 minutes 

1 large spiral ham bone
4 cups water
1 white onion
3 large carrots
3 stalks celery
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp bacon drippings
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
8 cups fresh collard greens, chopped
10 oz spiral ham, diced
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
3 15 oz cans black eye peas, drained and rinsed
Tabasco, to taste 

In a large stock pot on high heat, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the ham bone, ends/scraps of carrots, celery, onion, and a pinch of pepper flakes; reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain and set aside.

In the same pot on medium high heat, add a teaspoon of bacon drippings. Stir in the diced carrots, onions, celery and cook until translucent; season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Add the collard greens, vegetable stock, and ham stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the collard greens are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the diced ham, tomatoes, and black eyed peas; cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. 

Cooks note: Remove any impurities that might float to the top of the soup with a shallow spoon. This can be done any time during the cooking process.

Serve with hot sauce and topped with ham and cheese cornbread croutons (recipe below)

Ham and Cheese Cornbread Croutons 
(these are not dairy or gluten free, but they are a great addition for your friends and family)

4 squares corn bread (your favorite recipe or baker)
1 tsp olive oil
2 slices spiral ham
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 oz gruyere cheese

Heat up your favorite griddle or Panini press on medium low heat.  Cut the corn bread lengthwise making two thin slices. Add a thin layer of Dijon and sandwich in a piece of gruyere and ham. In the lightly oiled griddle or Panini, grill the sandwich until lightly browned; applying pressure to condense ingredients.

Carefully slice in to fourths to create crouton sized bites. Garnish each bowl of Good Luck Soup with three pieces for a fun twist on this classic dish! 


  1. Your soup looks wonderful, and the little sandwiches instead of croutons is genius!

  2. This sounds incredibly delicious. After the Christmas feast, I am really longing for hot, wholesome, homecooked soup. I love dunking bread or crackers in soup so those ham croutons are such a treat. happy New Year!

  3. Good luck to you too!
    Your ham & cheese croutons are fabulous.
    Best wishes for a bright and dazzling New Year!

  4. Your soup and panini croutons both look so good!!! Wishing you nothing but happiness and prosperity in the coming year, Kimmi!!!

  5. I LOVE THIS!! I am so into "good luck foods". I am totally making this dish. :) I adore the cornbread and ham croutons. All the best to you Kimmi in 2012!! Hope the year is wonderful to you, your family and your blog. :)

  6. Those are the most creative croutons I have ever seen! Love it, using mini "sandwiches as croutons making the soup all the more substantial. Happy NY!

  7. YUM! I have my black eyes soaking as we speak!

  8. LOVE this! The soup looks terrific and the ham/cornbread sandwiches are perfect! Best of luck in 2012!

  9. What a beautiful soup. I love the idea of the mini-sandwiches as croutons. We don't have any good luck New Year's traditions yet, but home to make some as our daughter gets older. Happy New Year!

  10. Simply lovely soup and great pairing with the home made croutons. Btw, thats very creative with the ham sandwiched in between the croutons.

  11. I've never heard the ham part of NY meals! Very cool. Those croutons are brilliant. Must. Have.

    Happy New Year!!!

  12. I would love some good luck, especially in the form of this soup! Happy New Year!

  13. I personally love the cake, just because :)

    But what darling croutons! For me, they make the soup. How could something so scrumptious not be lucky?

    Here's to a wonderful 2012 - full of luck and delicious eats!

  14. Just stopping by again to say...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  15. i'm loving the corn bread croutons. such a great idea! :)

  16. I am not superstitious but I totally believe in good luck food! (That's why I had beans and rice on New Year's Day!) Those little ham and cheese sandwich crouton things are TO DIE FOR

  17. Happy New Year!!!
    Love the cornbread in the soup. Fantastic idea.
    All the best, xo

  18. Ooooh! The little ham and cheese are sheer genius :) An absolutely brilliant way to start off the new year!

  19. Very good story. The soup sounds incredibly delicious. I am going to make it for sure, thank you-))

  20. That soup looks great. Ham and cheese croutons? That sounds incredible. Definitely need to try those!

  21. The soup looks delicious and so comforting!
    Happy new year to you! All the best for 2012!

  22. That sounds delicious! I'd never heard of anything but the black eyed peas thing on New Year's before, but I like it. I'll have to remember that for next year. Hope you had a great New Year's!

  23. Did you say Ham and cheese croutons! wow! That would make this soup perfect!

  24. Gorgeous soup and I've been telling everyone about these tasty little croutons. You are so clever! I also want to hear about the dark choc cognac cake please, please, pleeeeeease!

  25. The Good Luck soup looks very hearty and just perfect for these chilly nights. I love those ham and cheese cornbread. Happy New Year to you and wish you a very prosperous 2012.

    ~ ray ~


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