Delicious New Years Day Black Eyed Peas


New Years Day Black Eyed Peas

Serves 4-6

Prep time 1 hour, including the simmering time.

Freezes well

Keeps for 4-5 days in the fridge


Being from the south, and having a family that excels at southern comfort food, I’ve been eating black eyed peas all my life. With ham, cornbread with lots of butter, and sweet tea. So, making them on New Years Day is a pretty smooth transition for me.


Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day has been considered good luck for many years. Originally they were used as food for livestock and later as a food staple for enslaved people in the South. Because of their lowly reputation, the Union Army troops of General Sherman ignored the fields of black-eyed peas while razing or stealing other crops. During the harsh winter, the Confederate soldiers survived on the remaining black-eyed peas, promoting this humble and nourishing legume into a symbol of fortune and prosperity in the American South.


Very easy, delicious recipe that will make your mouth water! Plus there are several add ins that can make the peas more of a soup and can make it more substantial.


Ingredients

3 cups of dry black eyed peas, soaked for at least 24 hours, drained and rinsed well

12 oz of sliced ham or one slab of ham

2 Tbsp of olive oil for cooking the ham

2 Tbsp of olive oil for after the peas are cooking

1 sweet onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

6-8 thyme sprigs, whole


Possible add ins

3 Yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 small celery stalk, diced

Handful of fresh baby spinach

Frozen collard greens


Preparation

* Soak black eyed peas overnight. Be sure and check the water level and continue to add more as needed, and the peas will soak up a lot!

* After 24 hours of soaking, rinse and drain the peas well. Set aside.

* Slice ham into whatever size you like, and place into a large skillet with the olive oil. Cook until the ham is covered and shiny, about 4-5 minutes.

* Add the onion and garlic and stir well, cooking another 4-5 minutes.

* Add in the black eyed peas and 9 cups of water.

* Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Add the thyme sprigs and simmer about 30-45 minutes. Check the beans regularly to see how they are cooking. If you prefer the peas to be slightly still firm, cook them for less time. If you like them mushy, then cook longer.

* if you want to do the add ins, do so about 10 minutes before the time of the cooking is up, they don’t take long at all to cook.

* Serve hot and enjoy!



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All photos by Allison David

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