Recipe: Black-Eyed Peas
Although I’m from the South and grew up eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s for good luck, I have to admit I never really enjoyed them. I felt culturally obliged to partake, and tried many times to make them myself with different recipes, but if I’m honest, I always choked them down. It wasn’t until I was really struggling financially, living in South Carolina, that I finally stumbled on the right way to make them by experimenting on my own. Black-eyed peas and collards are dirt cheap, so once you figure out how you like ’em, you can make a big delicious, healthy pot full that will help get you through tough times. And, if you’re like me, you’ll like it so much you start eating black- eyed peas year-round, not just on New Year’s!
This is a very simple, forgiving recipe that replaces the typical ham hock with apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and sriracha for a sharper flavor that breaks down the earthiness of the black-eyed peas. The proportions are flexible and should be adjusted to taste. This dish is enjoyed best with grits or cornbread, and a beer.
16 oz pack of dried black eyed peas
1/2 bunch of collard greens one tablespoon of olive oil
3-4 stalks of celery with leaves
3-4 cloves of garlic
32 oz of vegetable stock
1 bunch of green onions
2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
Soak your dried black-eyed peas per the directions on the package, usually at least eight hours. It’s important to use dried, not canned black-eyed peas, as they have a much better, firmer texture.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium high. Dice your onions, garlic, and celery. Sauté the onions until they are clear, then add the garlic and celery and sauté them for a minute.
Drain the black-eyed peas, rinse them and drain them again. Add them to your pot with the stock. Heat on high until the pot boils, then reduce to a simmer.
Add your apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, cayenne powder, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Throw in some chopped parsley if you’ve got it.
Cut the ribs out of the collards and discard them, then shred the leafy green part into strips about 1 inch thick and 2 inches long.
Wash the strips thoroughly and throw ’em in the pot. Cover and allow all of that to simmer for at least 30 more minutes or until the black-eyed peas are tender (but the longer the better ).
Chop your green onions into small slices. Pour the soup into a bowl and top with green onions and sriracha (to taste).
If you have leftovers, this soup will taste better each day until you finish it!