New Year’s Day traditional meals are as varied and diverse as the people who enjoy them. In the South, the menu includes pork, peas, collard greens, and cornbread. This recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Soup covers all the basics, plus it has the added advantage of being a one-pot meal. Less time spent cooking, less cleanup, and more time to enjoy the day.
Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the onions, celery, carrots, thyme, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to get tender. Move the vegetables to one side and add the smoked sausage. Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes until the sausage is lightly browned.
The meaning behind each ingredient relates to something good happening in the New Year. Since pigs root the ground in a forward motion, pork symbolizes progress or prosperity. This Black-Eyed Pea Soup recipe uses smoked sausage, but any type of pork could be used for your New Year’s Day meal. We have served pork chops, pork roast, or pork ribs.
When the sausage has browned, add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot to release all the goodness that has accumulated. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, add the collard greens and cook for 15-20 minutes until the collards are tender.
The green of the collards represents money signifying wealth in the coming year. As with the pork, substitutes can be made. You could use spinach, cabbage, or turnip greens. Since collard greens are a southern staple, that’s what we use. Also, when I think of wealth it’s not always money. I am rich beyond belief with the love and support of family and friends.
Now that the collards are tender, add the peas and continue to simmer until everything is heated through. Check your seasonings again and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.
Peas symbolize health. Black-eyed peas oftentimes called purple-hull peas are another southern staple. They grow prolifically in the south and you will always find jars in my pantry that I have canned the previous summer. I used two pint jars for this soup but two cans of store-bought peas work fine.
While your soup is simmering away, prepare the cornbread to serve alongside your soup.
Cornbread has no special meaning on New Year’s Day. It’s just delicious and is perfect served alongside a southern meal.
This Black-Eyed Pea Soup could easily be made in the crockpot. Brown the sausage, place everything in the crockpot, stir and walk away for 6-8 hours.
BLACK EYED PEA SOUP
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup onion diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 1 cup carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 14 ounces smoked sausage sliced
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 28 ounces tomatoes, crushed or diced
- 6 cups collard greens, packed cleaned and chopped, stems removed
- 2 cans black-eyed peas drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, thyme, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Move the vegetables to the side and add the sausage. Saute until the sausage is lightly browned.
- Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir well, scraping the bottom to release all the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Bring to a boil. Add the collard greens and cook for 15-20 minutes until the collards become tender.
- Add the peas, reduce the heat, and simmer until everything is thoroughly heated.
If you need more delicious soup ideas, check out these recipes:
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