Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens Soup

My oldest kiddos are second graders in the same classroom (I know!! isn’t that awesome?!) and they recently compiled a classroom cookbook to represent the different cultures in the class. This project made me realize that my poor children have a bit of an identity crisis going on – we are, as I have mentioned, meat and potatoes Irish Catholics, but we have lived in Ohio, Boston, and now, obviously, North Carolina.

This project was tricky for them… my daughter assured me that my Bailey’s Freezer Pie represented her culture (true, but, uh-oh!) and my son said he felt that everyone should know about the importance of eating black eyed peas and collard greens for the new year. He wouldn’t budge on his recipe choice. That boy misses snow but I am pretty sure he is going to be southern for the long haul… 

Black Eyed Peas

This black eyed peas and collard green soup is a fantastic addition to your winter soup rotation. You can, of course, make some for the new year to bring you good luck, but you can also just enjoy it any old day of the week

Baby Collard Greens from Edgerton Farm

Ingredients: 

2 cups fresh frozen black-eyed peas (freezer section of your store)
6 cups chicken broth (or a combination of broth and water)
1 ham bone (or 3 to 4 slices of bacon, chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 to 3 handfuls collard greens, chiffonade (chopped into thin strips – no stems)

Directions

If you have a leftover ham bone or you can get one from the butcher at your market, great! If not, dice up 3 to 4 slices of bacon and cook those with the carrots, onions, and celery. Add the garlic after all of the other veggies are soft and translucent. (If you are using a ham bone and no bacon, saute the veggies in a tablespoon or so of olive oil.)
Add the chicken broth and ham bone (if you have one) and bring to a boil. Add black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil again. 
Reduce heat and simmer over medium low heat for about 2 hours. Remove the ham bone from the soup – break any extra delicious pieces of ham into small pieces and stir into the soup. Add the collard greens at the very end and stir until they soften. 
Serve with your favorite corn bread or crunchy tortilla chips! Enjoy! 
A few notes about winter greens … 
Winter greens are in abundance right now! The assortment is incredible and every single option packs a nutritional punch. In my fridge right now, I have 3 kinds of kale, baby collard greens, arugula, and rainbow chard. All of my greens are from local NC farms but you can find a great assortment at your grocery store. I add greens to everything – omelettes, smoothies, quiche, meatloaf, meatballs, lasagna, soups, salads … everything. Don’t be afraid – hop on the greens train... 
A “GREENS” Sign from The San Francisco  Ferry Building Farmers Market
  

   

Black eyed peas … dried, canned, or frozen??? By far, the easiest and most delicious choice for making anything tasty with black eyed peas is to find them FRESH FROZEN at your grocery store.

Fresh Frozen Blackeye Peas

 

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