So often I find that cooking a good meal can feel a bit like reinventing the wheel. That's not to say that there aren't amazing, completely original dishes out there that I just haven't thought of yet, but often my favorite "original" recipes are heavily inspired by other cultures, chefs, and dishes.
I am incredibly passionate about soul food. I really want get to a place where I'm using Brown Sugar & Bourbon to explore questions like; what is 'soul food' exactly? Who eats it? Why? Can soul food be used as a fusion cuisine with other cultures?
With this particular recipe for example, I was really inspired by Italian Wedding Soup. I got to wondering what a soul food version of this dish might look like and I came up with Jumping the Broom Soup.
For those who don't know, jumping the broom is a vestige of slavery when enslaved Black Americans, who weren't allowed to be legally married (cause you know, they weren't considered fully human) jumped the broom to symbolically show their commitment to one another.
Much like Italian Wedding Soup, Jumping the Broom features a green; in this case collards greens instead of escarole or spinach, black eyed peas in the place of white beans, and pork jowl bacon instead of chicken sausage.
This soup turned out beautifully and I'm really proud of it. It's more on the stew consistency than soup so it's PERFECT for this time of year. Even though I made this meal on the stove top, this is an ideal crock-pot dish as well. It would also pair ridiculously well with the duck fat biscuits I made last week.