Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe

Black Eyed Pea Soup
My husband is a special occasions cook. Although a weeknight dinner of chicken nuggets and fries can totally overwhelm him, a fully home cooked Thanksgiving feast including a succulent brined turkey and at least seven side dishes is something he has successfully accomplished for the past eight years. In addition to Turkey Day, he has perfected an incredible St. Patrick's Day meal that revolves around melt-in-your-mouth corned beef and home baked Irish Soda Bread. He has also been known to whip up a Christmas dinner complete with lamb chops, sautéed green beans,boiled red potatoes, and mint jelly. His holiday meals are elaborate and delicious!

Last year my husband added New Year's Day to his outstanding holiday food repertoire by making a pot of Black Eyed Pea Soup. Although he has attempted this traditional fare every year since we've been married, he didn't truly bring it up to his usual holiday food standard until we moved to Texas. Last year one of his co-workers, who is originally from Louisiana, shared her recipe with him. It is amazing! The flavor is robust and complex and the texture is hearty without being mushy. It is great the first day but gets even better the next day and also freezes well.

I am looking forward to welcoming in 2010 with a big bowl of my husband's steaming Black Eyed Soup. Happy New Year!

"I got a feelin' that this years gonna be a good year!"

Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe

  • 4 cups of peas (black-eyed or other small pea, fresh, frozen, or dried. If you use dried, soak for an hour or more. If you use fresh, wash before using, drain and set aside for 20 minutes before cooking (this make the seed “wake-up”). )
  • 14-16 oz of chopped onion, carrot, and celery (Tammy recommends the frozen bags of “mire pois” mix). If you can’t find the mix, use 1 large onion, 3 large carrots, 3 stalks celery.
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 cup of diced Peppers (fresh, frozen, smoked, or roasted) (I have used a variety of these: sweet red or yellow bell, cayenne, poblano, cubanella, jalapeno, or any other of your favorites)
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar (Tammy uses organic)
  • Approximately 2 cups Ham or Canadian bacon, chopped into bite size chunks (Tammy recommends the Central Market Natural smoked ham at HEB. It has no nitrates, no gelatin, no preservatives, no additives.) More or less depending on how meaty you want the soup.
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut or extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups water or chicken broth

  1. Saute: Sauté the veggies in oil on med to low heat. Salt and Pepper liberally. If it becomes dry before the onions are clear, add a tablespoon or two of water. You want it to get really soft and mushy.
  2. Brown: Once the veggies get soft, turn the heat up and stir occasionally. This will dry out the veggies and make it stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Deglaze: When the veggies start turning brown, then deglaze with apple cider vinegar.
  4. Stew: Once most of the vinegar cooks off, add 6-8 cups of water, the peas, and the meat. Ham/Canadian Bacon adds salt, but the peas absorb lots of salt, so add more salt and pepper at this stage. Add a bay leaf if you have one. One alternate cooking method would be to have the water, peas, and ham already cooking in another pot or a crock pot while the veggies are being cooked since that takes some time.
  5. Time: I usually cook it for several hours at a simmer, but this is a preference. Fresh or frozen peas are technically cooked after 20 minutes of boiling. Taste the pea to determine its doneness. Some people like them al dente. I like them almost mushy, but not quite. However, I usually eat it after 20-30 minutes and then keep cooking it. The longer you cook it, the more mushy the pea and the more thick and starchy the soup base. I took Tammy’s recommendation, and used the emersion blender on the entire pot. OMG…it was fantastic. Very hearty and filling.


This will make a pretty good sized pot of soup. It tastes good AWESOME left over and it freezes well too. It can also act as a thickening agent for other soup bases – just remember to blend it before adding to the other soup base ( I use an emersion blender.)

Optional accompaniments:
• Chopped cilantro
• Squeeze of lemon
• Fresh red onion slices
• Fresh tomatoes slices with a squeeze of lemon
• Good with roast chicken or turkey or even pork loin
• Rice (some like sticky white rice, I prefer a mix of wild rices)
• Cheese – beans and cheese together make a variety of good proteins. I prefer a sharp cheddar or even a smoked cheddar either with or before the soup.
• Corn bread


  1. This looks great! It's fun to find another cooking Heidi :)

  2. Yum, this sounds delish! I have to make my hubs pork and sauerkraut every New Years but maybe I'll make this, too!

  3. Your Black Pea Soup looks very good. Thank you for sharing your recipe and Happy New Year!

  4. Heidi, my family just loves black eyed peas .. I've never tried them in soup before! I must give this a go as I think it would go over quite well. Thank you for sharing your creativity at Monday Mania! :)

  5. Stopping by from the Tuesday Night Supper Club. Mmmm...your black-eyed pea soup sounds fantastic! I'm a huge fan of black-eyed peas, and love cooking with them, especially around New Years!

  6. what a wonderful idea...i usually run around on new year's eve looking for all the fixins to make hoppin john...which i don't really like the taste of. this soup looks like something i could dig right in to...YUM! thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club!

  7. I am always looking for good legume recipes, so this definitely caught my eye!

    Thanks for linking up to Frugal Food Thursday at Frugal Follies last week! The new linky for the week is now up, so please stop by!

  8. Awesome, hubby post!!! Thanks for sharing on THIS WEEK’S CRAVINGS.

    Next week (MONDAY) is an “Incredible Edible Egg Recipes” on THIS WEEK’S CRAVINGS, we hope to see you agian!

  9. Gosh that looks yummy! Thank you so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday. Hope to see you again this week!

    Trish - Mom On Timeout

  10. Hello Heidi, I was just blogging about making soups, so I linked to this page for the recipe. I'm so glad you and others like my soup recipe. I keep changing the ingredients when I make it, but the basic steps are always the same.

  11. Here's a link to more great soup ideas.