Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Soup

black-eyed peas and greens soup
Diana Rattray
  • 3 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Ratings (9)

This flavorful soup can be cooked on the stovetop or in the crock pot. Either way, it makes a great meal with cornbread and a tossed salad.

Because it contains three lucky ingredients, it's an excellent all-in-one choice for a New Year's Day lunch or dinner. The peas symbolize coins, the greens symbolize paper money, and the ham supposedly signifies prosperity. Add a pan of hot baked cornbread—the gold—and you'll have the perfect good luck meal!

If you are serving vegetarian friends and family, it's easy to make it a vegetarian soup. Simply omit the ham and use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. Add more vegetables to the soup if you'd like. Diced carrots are a good choice. Add them to the pan along with the onion and celery. Diced rutabaga or turnip is another tasty addition. Choose chopped turnip greens with diced turnip, if available.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet bell pepper, red or green
  • 4 to 6 ounces diced ham
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas (see below, or use 2 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen chopped turnip greens (or spinach, thawed
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt, to taste

How to Make It

Stovetop

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the celery is tender.
  2. Add the ham, bell pepper, and garlic to the pan and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
  3. To the ham and vegetable mixture, add the chicken stock, black-eyed peas, turnip greens or spinach, tomatoes, Creole seasoning, pepper, and oregano. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  1. Taste and add salt, as needed.

Slow Cooker

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ham, bell pepper, and garlic; cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
  2. Transfer the sauteed vegetables and ham to the slow cooker. Add the chicken stock, black-eyed peas, greens, tomatoes, Creole seasoning, pepper, and oregano.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, or on high for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.
  4. Taste and add salt, as needed.

How to Cook Dried Black-Eyed Peas

Pick 1 pound of black-eyed peas over and remove any malformed or damaged peas. Rinse well and put them in a large pot. Cover the peas with 2 quarts of water. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil the peas for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the peas stand for 1 hour. 

Drain the peas, rinse them, and then put them back in the pot. Cover with 2 1/2 quarts of fresh water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring the peas to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until tender.