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A Teaspoon of Happiness

New Year’s Black Eyed Pea Soup

Black Eyed Pea Soup - ATEASPOONOFHAPPINESS.COM

Tomorrow is the very last day of 2013. I can’t believe it’s already over. So much has happened and now we’re in Thailand waiting to ring in the new year. Did you know that its a tradition in parts of the U.S. to eat black eyed peas for the New Year? It’s supposed to be lucky, and I even read that you should eat one black eyed pea for each day of the coming year – that’s 365 black eyed peas unless it’s going to be a leap year and in that case it would be 366 black eyed peas. So what’s the best way to make sure you eat all those black eye peas? In a soup, of course.

This version of black eyed pea soup is the simplest you can make – with a base of chicken broth, just a hint of tomato paste and your basic soup vegetables (carrot, celery and onion). I added a little chili powder to give a flavor kick. It’s just enough seasoning to bring out the natural nutty flavor of the black eyed peas.

Black Eyed Pea Soup - ATEASPOONOFHAPPINESS.COM

I used dried black eyed peas for this soup, which makes the soup really budget friendly. But here’s the thing about dried beans – they are all a little different. You may need to simmer yours longer to make them soft, and that may require a little extra water. If your liquid is almost completely absorbed and you find that your black eyed peas are still not soft, add a little more water and continue simmering until they are. I like my soup nice and thick, so I continued to simmer mine until there was barely any broth left, but you might not like yours like that. That’s the best thing about soups – you don’t need to follow the recipe exactly. Make it your own, and do what you want. If you do want a nice, thick soup, you may need to stir more often as you’re nearing the end of the simmer time to prevent the thickened soup from sticking.

Happy New Year!

New Year's Black Eyed Pea Soup

Yield: 10

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 3 hours

Total: 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil to medium-high.
  2. Saute carrots, celery and onion until the onions are slightly translucent - about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables.
  5. Add black eyed peas, broth and chili powder.
  6. Cover and bring liquid to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until black eyed peas are soft and broth is creamy.
  8. Adjust seasonings if necessary and remove bay leaves before serving.

8 Responses to “New Year’s Black Eyed Pea Soup”

  1. theStylistQuo — December 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    So are you supposed to eat ONLY that many or AT LEAST that many?! That’d be so complicated.. ha! We’re making this hoppin’ john-inspired dish with chipotle and bacon and a creamy chipotle aioli on top.. yum. But this looks good for ALL year round! By the way.. do you use weathered boards under your dishes for your photos?! I love the vintage look. Gorgeous!

    Hope you both are enjoying Thailand! How could you not?!

    • Melissa Belanger replied: — January 1st, 2014 @ 4:05 am

      No I actually got vinyl photography backdrops from Etsy so that I can travel with them. They were reasonably priced, and they roll up into a mailing tube. It’s perfect for my life. I’ve been dying to make hoppin’ john, but I don’t ever have all the ingredients at one time! That sounds amazing with the chipotle and bacon. I hope you’re having a great NYE. We are having a blast here…heading into town to get some street food and hopefully find a market tonight. So far the food has been NOTHING but amazing! I love it here and I’m so sad we have to leave in a few days.

      • theStylistQuo replied: — January 2nd, 2014 @ 10:46 am

        I actually use placemats! They were at Bed Bath and Beyond and I couldn’t resist. I’m definitely trying some of those vinyl backdrops – that’s my kinda “vintage table” – rolled up in a tube! Hope the rest of your trip is fabulous!

        • Melissa Belanger replied: — January 4th, 2014 @ 12:04 am

          I have a few placemats that I love, but I get so indecisive when I’m picking them out. I can send you the link for the Etsy shop if you want it – just let me know!

          • Cheryl replied: — January 4th, 2014 @ 12:12 am

            Definitely! There are so many on etsy now and yours are so much more realistic than my placemats. I’d love to use your seller!

            • Melissa Belanger replied: — January 10th, 2014 @ 12:27 am

              The seller is on Etsy! I did a package deal for 3 that were 2’x2′. I think I might order more when I get home too. I love them.

  2. Deidre — January 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Hi! I make black eyed pea soup often, especially around most holidays and I usually use frozen peas. However, to keep from having to simmer your peas for long periods of time to get them soft, do what we do in the south and just soak them over night. That way they will be nice, plump and soft the next day. Boiling is a snap and won’t take all day. And don’t forget to always sift through dry beans before soaking and cooking because they sometimes contain rocks or other debris….btw never used tomato paste in mine, I used heavy cream but this looks delishous!

    • Melissa Belanger replied: — January 4th, 2014 @ 12:03 am

      Thanks for the tips! I’ve never made anything with black eyed peas before, so it’s always nice to hear from someone who knows what they’re doing. Heavy cream would make for a heavenly soup. It’ll have to be in my next batch! Happy New Year!

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