My family loves winter time because i usually have a pot of soup or stew going. I love making use of my leftovers. So I simply to a recipe for hoppin john and turned into a stew with of course a litl kick because we enjoy spicey, and of course changed name a bit, just because! But feel free to omit some of the spicey.
In lg pot saute onions, peppers, and celery in bacon grease (butter if keeping vegetarien) Combine 5 cups water with all ingredients except box rice and beans and bring to boil, add box rice and beans bring back to boil and turn down to med low for half hour, turn to very low and simmer another 20 min to let the flavors combine.
Final 10 min bring back to boil and add bread crumbs to thicken for stew. Enjoy.