One of the New Years traditions in our family is black eyed pea soup. It is supposed to ensure prosperity for the coming year when eaten with greens and pork. One time I questioned my dad about the tradition saying (as only a smart alecky teenager can) that things didn’t seem so different. He quipped back, “Yeah…Imagine if we hadn’t had them!”
I am not a big fan of black-eyed peas as a general rule. In fact, I am not a big fan of dried beans of any sort. They usually just taste bland and starchy to me. I do love me some black eyed pea soup, however, and how. Spicy and tomato-y broth combines with bacon to give the black eyed peas a smoky, hot broth to hang out in. I prefer to use fresh black-eyed peas because they seem to me to have less starch but you can used canned if you rinse them really well. You can also use the dried kind. Just let them soak overnight.
There aren’t a lot of ingredients that go into this soup but what comes out of the ladle a few hours later is magic. I promise. The sesame seed oil is my touch… it adds another depth of smoky flavor to the soup that I really enjoy. Adjust the broth up or down to get the thickness of the soup that you prefer. Two cans of Ro*Tel will be too spicy for some of you so don’t be afraid to add one can of plain tomatoes instead of one of the cans of Ro*tel. The longer it simmers the more flavorful it gets.
Don’t wait for New Years to have this black eyed pea soup. It makes a great, inexpensive meal anytime of the year. Do try it at least once when you can get fresh blackeyed peas though. The difference is amazing.
Smoky Black Eyed Pea SoupPrint Add to Collection Go to Collections
- 2 lbs black eyed peas, fresh, or 1 lb of dried (soaked overnight), or 3 cans of black eyed peas well rinsed
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 – 2 cans of Ro*Tel tomatoes with chilis
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 2 tbs bacon fat, or oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- Cut bacon into small pieces and fry until crisp.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and cook the onions until almost tender.
- Add all the ingredients including the onions and bacon to a slow cooker or soup pot.
- Simmer for 3 to 10 hours or until black eyed peas are cooked and flavors have blended.