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Dec 27, 2020

Ham and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

This ham and black-eyed pea soup is the quintessential New Year's Day good luck meal. With ham, collard greens, and black-eyed peas, this soup represents ingredients to celebrate the New Year. 

Ham and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

In the Southern part of the United States, having black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring good fortune for the coming year. If you eat 365 black-eyed peas, you will have good fortune each day of the year. 

The collard greens in this soup represent wealth (as in green... cabbage also works). Evidently, both of these traditions pre-date the existence of the United States, and include roots in both Africa and the Talmud. 

The pork, or ham, represents forward movement, evidently because pigs' rooting represents forward motion. 

Ham and Black-Eyed Pea Soup with greens

Not being from the South, I began exploring black-eyed peas only recently, including with this Matar Kulcha or this Black-Eyed Pea Hummus, neither of which is Southern US food! 

In fact, around here, while I can find a ton of bean variations, finding black-eyed peas, both canned and dried, is kind of a treasure hunt, which is kind of frustrating. 

Happily, there were three cans of store brand black-eyed peas of my local Ralphs. They were perfect. 

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

This soup is pure comfort food, but will also make you feel totally virtuous at the same time. It's loaded with greens, tomatoes, and lots and lots of veggies. 

This ham and black-eyed pea soup is also super easy to make. For the ham, I used a store-bought ham steak, and for the broth, I used store bought low sodium chicken broth. 

While tt takes about two hours to make, most of the time is hands off. 

Black-Eyed Pea Soup with collard greens and ham

If this year has not been your favorite year, you might want to give this soup a try on New Year's Day and see it the good luck promise will come true!

Either way, you will have had a delicious meal with lots of amazing leftovers. Plus, if you've never tried black-eyed peas and collard greens, this is the soup you should make. 

It's thick, rich, and practically like a stew. 

This recipe calls for 1/2 pound of collard greens. At first, it will seem like there is no way that amount of greens will every get incorporated into the soup. Once you remove the spine/stems up the middle of the greens, chop them, and let them cook, they will reduce down. 

Enjoy this soup and have a wonderful and prosperous New Year. Much love. 

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The Sunday Funday Group is celebrating the New Year with our favorite dishes. 

Ham and Black-Eyed Pea Soup with collard greens and fire roasted tomatoes

Ham and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Ham and Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Yield: 12 servings
Author: Karen Kerr
This ham and black-eyed pea soup is the quintessential New Year's Day good luck meal. With ham, collard greens, and black-eyed peas, this soup represents ingredients to celebrate the New Year.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat or vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound collard greens, stems and spines removed, chopped
  • 1 pound cooked ham, diced
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 10-ounce can of Ro-Tel tomatoes (traditional)
  • 1 14-ounce can roasted tomatoes 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed, one can roughly mashed. 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In an 8-quart pot, cook the onion and carrots in the bacon grease or oil on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes, until the onions begin to brown around the edges. Add the minced garlic and cook and stir for 1 more minute.
  2. Add the collard greens, ham, vinegar, broth, chipotles, Ro-Tel tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, and thyme. Bring pot to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the black-eyed peas. Continue to simmer soup for another 45 minutes. Add the salt and pepper.



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New Years, collard greens, black-eyed peas
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This recipe was adapted from Homesick Texan, who adapted it from Gourmet Magazine

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Would you like to comment?

  1. I'm loving all of these ideas for my leftover ham.

  2. Love my collards and ham, and will have to try adding some black eyed peas sometime as well. There is nothing like a good hearty, stick to your ribs soup this time of year. Love the history in there as well.

  3. I was happy to stumble upon this since I had leftover Christmas ham and don't love black eyed peas on their own. It's hearty and delicious, but I found it so spicy that it was hard to finish the bowl. My throat was literally burning. Perhaps the tablespoon of chipotle powder was a typo?

    1. It wasn't a typo, but maybe substituting regular chile powder would work for you. The chipotle chile powder I used was no more spicy than regular chile powder. It's just smokier. It's not cayenne pepper and not as hot. You can definitely reduce it.


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