3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 1/2 cups rice
1 quart plus 3 cups chicken stock, divided
1 package (4 links) andouille sausage, casings removed and diced
5-6 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 pound frozen black-eyed peas
1 can stewed tomatoes (28 ounces)
Place a medium size saucepot over high heat with one turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add rice and stir to coat in the EVOO. Add 3 cups of the chicken stock and bring up to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, place a tight-fitting lid on the pot and cook the rice until tender, about 18 minutes.
Once the rice is cooking, place a large soup pot over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about two tablespoons. Add the andouille and cook until brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the celery, green bell pepper, onion, bay leaf, sweet potato and hot sauce, to taste. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, until onion starts to get tender.
Add the black-eyed peas, stewed tomatoes and the remaining quart of chicken stock. Turn the heat up to high and bring up to a bubble. Once bubbling, lower heat down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
To serve, place a large scoop of rice in a soup bowl and add enough Hoppin’ John to almost cover the rice. Give it a stir to combine into a thick stoup. By cooking the rice separately, you never run the risk of the rice getting mushy on you and it will be waiting for you whenever you are ready to eat!