Southerners have Hoppin' John. Italians have cotechino con lenticchie or sausages and green lentils. Chinese have red bean soup with adzuki beans, peanuts, and chestnuts.
Today around the world, people will be eating little seeds, nuts, pulses, and legumes, universal symbols of luck and wealth in the New Year.
My version is a rendition of the popular sausage + pea combination. It's a bit German in heft, a bit Spanish in seasoning, and a bit French in soul. Happy New Year!
Soak a 16oz bag of green peas overnight. In a large pot, sautee on medium high 1/4-1/2 cup of whatever fatty meat you have on hand. I had pate de campagne and andouille, but you can always use bacon. Adjust quantity based on fat content. Dice 3 large carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 3 cloves of garlic, and 1 red onion and add to pot. Cover and cook until onions are clear, about 10 minutes.
Add soaked green peas with soaking water to pot. Add 5 bay leaves and 2 teaspoons smoked paprika. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours, until peas are completely soft. Season to taste. Discard bay leaves. Serve with pepitas and a drizzle of garlic-infused oil.