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Black Eyed PEAS Jumpstart Soup!

It's the new year, and the holidays are finally over! So let's jumpstart our bodies, our minds, and our metabolisms, with this delicious and simple soup. Many of us are familiar with the old tradition in the American southeast of eating black-eyed peas as the first food of the year (meaning just after midnight of New Years Eve or the next morning on New Years Day.) They are thought to bring luck and prosperity in the new year, and sometimes a new penny is added to the pot during cooking and whoever ends up with it in their bowl is guaranteed luck for the year!

We decided to leave out the coins in this recipe, and load up on ingredients that will boost your metabolism after all that holiday indulgence!

We're using some dried chipotle peppers which contain capsaicin, a chemical that boosts metabolism and keeps your body burning calories for hours after too. It also happens to the same chemical responsible for the heat in hot peppers.

We're also tossing in broccoli and kale. Broccoli is full of vitamin C and calcium, and while calcium activates your metabolism, the vitamin C increases the amount of bone-building calcium your body can absorb.

And black-eyed peas, while not peas at all (they're legumes!), are low-fat, cholesterol-free, and packed with iron and potassium, making them the perfect base for this soup. So let's start 2015 off right!

Ingredients:
• 1/2 lb black eyed peas (soaked overnight)
• 1 large yellow onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp grated ginger
• 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
• 2 dried chipotle chilies
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 tbsp lemon zest
• 1 bunch kale, chopped
• 1 1/2 quarts stock (chicken or vegetable)
• 2 tbsp olive oil (or preferred cooking oil)

Procedure:
1. Soak beans overnight at room temperature in 3qts water plus 2tbsp salt.
2. Over medium heat, saute the onion until translucent (6 minutes), then add garlic and ginger and saute, stirring frequently to garlic doesn't burn, 1 minute.
3. Add stock, bay leaves, and chilies and turn heat to high. Add drained, rinsed black-eyed peas and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring when you have a free hand.
5. Add broccoli florets, cook 5 minutes, then add kale and lemon zest. Cook additional 8 minutes. Season with salt and as much black pepper as you can mill before your hand gets tired.

Serve and enjoy good luck and prosperity in 2015!

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