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Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham  

Hoppin' John Starter

Give your friends a way to warm up during the winter months with delicious Hoppin' John Starter.

This recipe goes with Hoppin' John Stew

Southern Living DECEMBER 2013

  • Yield: Makes enough starter for 1 stew
  • Hands-on: 20 Minutes
  • Total: 20 Minutes


  • 6 bacon slices
  • 8 ounces chopped smoked pork
  • 1/3 cup jarred ham soup base
  • 1 1/4 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup uncooked converted white rice
  • 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 bay leaves


Make ham mixture: Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon. Cook chopped smoked pork in hot drippings just until beginning to brown. Combine bacon, pork, and jarred ham soup base. Spoon into 1 (8-oz.) jar. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Make pea mixture: Combine dried black-eyed peas, converted white rice, dried onion flakes, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, baking soda, and bay leaves. Store at room temperature up to 3 weeks.

TO MAKE HOPPIN' JOHN STEW: Stir together Hoppin' John Starter and 8 cups water in a 5 1/2- to 6-qt. slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours or until peas are tender. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Hands-on 5 min. Total 7 hours, 5 min., not including starter

PACKAGE HOPPIN' JOHN STARTER IN: Weck 28.7-oz. Glass Jar ($4.50; westelm.com); Cellophane Bag (30 cents; thinkgarnish.com)


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Hoppin' John Starter Recipe