Sunday, January 5, 2014

Black Eyed Peas For The New Year

In the southern US, black eyed peas are eaten on New Year’s Day for good luck and are often accompanied by cooked greens and cornbread.  Since it’s the peas that bring the good luck and not the greens, which we don’t care for, we had only peas and cornbread.  By the way, since I was born on Friday the 13th, I don’t put much stock in luck traditions.

Bev usually just doctors some canned peas, but since Sam from My Carolina Kitchen just posted her recipe for the dish, we decided to begin with it and add our own twists.

Black-Eyed Pea Soup – Adapted From My Carolina Kitchen

1 lb. package black-eyed peas                       
2 T. bacon grease
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 peeled carrot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1¼ teaspoon herbs de Provence
10 oz Rotel
2 bay leaves       
½”  thick slice center cut ham – cubed & sauteed a little to brown
7 cups water
Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Optional other garnishes include sour cream, grated cheese, chopped green scallions, chopped cilantro, seeded & chopped jalapeno peppers

1. Soak peas overnight in a large stock pot with plenty of water to cover. Drain, rinse, and put back into the stock pot with the water, ham, Rotel, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
2. While the peas are coming to a boil, sauté the vegetables in 1-2 tablespoon of bacon grease (or oil) in a non-stick skillet until softened and beginning to caramelize. Stir frequently.

3. When browned, sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the dried herbs and stir then add the sautéed vegetables to the peas.
4. When peas come to a boil, simmer, partially covered, until peas are tender, adding more liquid if necessary. 
5. Before serving, taste for salt, add if necessary, and discard bay leaves. If you want a touch more flavor, add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce (I forgot to).
6. Garnish as desired.

Note - the original recipe calls for more carrots and some tomato paste which I excluded due to the sweetness they would add to the dish.

We sided the peas with some cornmeal muffins and called it a meal.

Everything was a big hit and we are now expecting good luck for 2014.

Then we settled in for a little football watching by the fire.  As you can see, the dogs were really into the games.

Photos best if enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


1/1/14 meal date


  1. So glad you liked the black-eyed peas Larry and I'm sure the Rotel spiced the soup up a bit. Looks like from that picture everyone relaxed and had a great day :)

  2. I saw Sam's recipe and have bookmarked it to try. Friday the 13th birthday??? I thought something was a little ominous about you. :) Love that shot of the dogs. Ours show the same enthusiasm.

  3. Nothing better than a bowl of soup and a warm fire. So sorry that you don't like greens. They go so well with cornbread, but then I'm sure Sam's soup was just perfect with the cornbread. Happy New Year Larry and Bev.

  4. Larry, We're probably doomed as we haven't made up any black eyed peas for the New Year... We are making a rocking spicy hot vat of chili though...with 3 different kind of beans...pork and ground round. I can smell it as the odors from the pot waft through the house! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. Looks like a cozy and delicious way to spend an evening! Doing the same here tonight :)

  6. We had our black-eyed peas in Betsy's Hoppin' John, which was delicious.

  7. Happy New Year to you and Bev. Looks like you're getting a little weather down your way - stay warm and safe. Maybe another bottle of bubbly would do the trick. We had canned black eyed peas but I know yours were much better. Have a great week.

  8. I've always liked black eyed peas, but have never made them on new years... I'm with you on the fact that I don't really believe in all that luck stuff. Life is what we make of it... good thing are going to happen or bad things are going to happen, doesn't seem to matter what we do :) Happy New Year to you and Bev!!

  9. We had our black-eyed peas on New Year's day as well. I like your addition of the Rotel tomatoes, I've never added tomatoes. I must give that a try.


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