This black eyed pea soup recipe is a flavorful and healthy way to enjoy a soul food staple. It’s cheap, tasty, low maintenance, and can be stretched into multiple recipes. Heck excluding the recipe part, I could be describing myself lol.
It’s not your traditional creamy southern style black-eyed peas, but nonetheless it’s super flavorful with more of a snappy bean texture. It's also not New Year's so I'm not looking for health or prosperity according to Southern traditions anymore than I normally do. I have been travelling like crazy latey and feel less centered and more off my game. May be that black moon rising or something. I dunno, but may be time to slow things down a bit.
Black eyed Pea Soup Recipe Inspiration
I recently made a big batch of homemade chicken stock to use as I experiment with different soup recipes for the upcoming winter. Yeah, I actually think well well ahead though winter may come early for some of you in other parts of the country. Anyway I made way more than I needed and was looking for an excuse to use the retainer vs. freezing it.
Side note, freezer was off limits, as it’s full of a large amount of deer meat. Don’t ask, I’ll explain in another post. So my local grocery store had smoked turkey necks which I had to cop, because, well… So now I get turkey necks and a killer broth. Well you don’t need anymore than this to know that black eyed pea soup is a great idea! And you don’t have to wait til New Year’s to eat black eyed peas. They are an everyday thing for me. So I ran with it and you’re the beneficiary.
Blackeyed Pea Soup Ingredients
There are a few ingredients that take this dish from exceptional to greatness.
- Dry Black Eyed Peas
- Smoked Bacon
- Smoked Turkey
- Yellow Onion
- Garlic Cloves
- Red Bell Pepper
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Vegetable Stock
- Bay Leaves
- Smoked Sweet Paprika
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Green Onions
Cook bacon in main pan to kick things off. Set the crisp back aside and sauté onions, celery, garlic, and peppers in the left behind bacon grease. Only cook the vegetables long enough to soften them about 2 minutes, but enjoy that aroma before moving on to the next steps. Oooh Weee!
Smoked Turkey Necks
Smoked turkey necks add a great depth of flavor to a dish. It’s perfect for the slow cooked black eyed pea soup. Smoked turkey necks are a good substitute for smoke pork, especially for those who avoid the swine. Turkey necks provide that same hammy broth you get with ham hocks. To truly maximize their flavor cook them early for a while prior to adding the peas.
If using store-bought go with a low sodium one to control the amount of salt added.
The heart of the dish is the smoked sweet paprika. Most paprikas are the sweet version, but I always designate since you can oftentimes find both hot and sweet versions offered. Paprika is smoky and earthy.
I add these at the end of cooking. Feel free to use canned diced tomatoes. They’ll add some needed acidity to break up the fat from the turkey necks and bacon. For even more flavor, feel free to char the tomatoes (if using whole cherry tomatoes) just before adding them to the soup. If you need a bit more acidity you can always add a few dashes of vinegar or tabasco sauce.
Soup Cooking Instructions
This recipe will be somewhere between a soup and a stew depending on how you cook it. There is plenty of broth, but not as much as you’d get with a traditional soup. For you old school Southerners you can always cook the dish longer to get more of that creamy texture. That’s always an option, but I was aiming more for firmer texture with some snap like snap peas or edamame. It goes without saying to add more broth if you want a true soup consistency.
In a dutch oven pot cook the diced bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon and let cool. Set aside leaving bacon grease behind in the pot.
Saute the vegetables until soft seasoning with a portion of the spices while sauteing.
Add the remaining ingredients except for the green onions and tomatoes, bring pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the tomatoes during approximately the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Remove the bay leaves then serve the beans with the bacon and diced green onions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can black eyed peas be cooked in a slow cooker
This recipe definitely works in a slow cooker. It’s like quintessential fit for slow cooking. As always just saute the vegetables meat first to ensure flavor and caramelization. By the same token these recipe can easily be converted to a pressure cooker or instant pot recipe. See this Instant Pot Black eyed Pea Recipe as a reference.
Should I Soak Black Eyed Peas Before Cooking
Like most legumes/beans black eyed peas should be soaked ahead of time. I usually soak them overnight, but 6 hours is usually sufficient. Soaking beans rehydrates them which reduces the cooking time. If you don’t have the time, feel free to use the quick soak method.
This involves bringing beans to a boil for 2 minutes then covering and allowing to stand for an hour. Keep in mind if you’re lucky enough to get fresh black eyed peas then no need to soak them. They’re already good to go.
What Are Good Leftover Ideas?
The beauty of this dish is that it’s the dish that keeps on giving. I typically create two other meal items with this one dish that are so simple and basic, but make use of all the great flavor that’s in the original dish. The first is to drain-off the turkey neck infused broth and pair with rice and the smoked turkey necks.
Surprisingly there is a good deal of meat within turkey necks much of which will flake off during cooking. This is definitely a humble meal and a product of poverty when you gotta stretch a meal by any means necessary! After draining off the broth, I use the remaining black eyed peas as a side dish to a regular meal or even as a topping for my protein of the day whether it’s grilled chicken or fish.
more blackeyed pea recipes
making this recipe
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- 4-5 slices applewood smoked bacon roughly chopped
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 2 medium celery stalks diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 4 cups dried black-eyed peas soaked overnight
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 1 lb smoked turkey necks, wings, or backs
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
- 3 tsp Kosher salt
- 3 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole cherry tomatoes charred
- 1 cup green onions chopped
- In a large dutch oven pot cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.
- Remove with slotted spoon, and let cool. Set aside and reserve rendered bacon fat in the pot.
- Add chopped onion, garlic, celery, red bell peppers and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with spices here.
- Add turkey necks, black-eyed peas, bay leaves and 4 cups stock to pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add more seasoning.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until peas are tender but not too soft. During the last 30 minutes of cooking add tomatoes and more seasoning.
- Remove bay leaves from the pot and serve with bacon and green onions.
- For my spice seasonings I usually mix them all together in a small bowl or ramekin and then just add about a quarter of the seasoning mix at each of the key steps.
- Add more stock as necessary during cooking. You don’t want the peas to get too dry.