This Black Eyed Peas Recipe is a Southern New Year's Day tradition. Since the peas swell when cooked, they symbolize prosperity, and who wouldn't want that for the upcoming year!Made with ham, bacon and lots of veggies, these black eyed peas are a perfect meal.
Prep the black eyed peas: Thoroughly rinse the black eyed peas to remove any debris. Place them in a large pot and cover with water. Soak the peas overnight, then drain and rinse.
Cook the bacon: In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon until brown and crispy over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside.
Finish sautéing ingredients: To the pot, add the onion, celery, garlic and jalapeno and cook for another 3 minutes until the vegetables soften.
Add the rest of ingredients: Add the ham, chicken broth, bay leaf, salt, pepper and drained peas to the pot. Stir everything together and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered for about 60-80 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the black eyed peas are soft.
Finish and serve: Discard bay leaf and stir in the bacon. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.
To quickly soak the peas, add them to a pot and fill with water then bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove them from heat, cover and soak them for 1 hour. Drain and rinse.
If you want to thicken the black eyed pea soup/stew, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and about a half cup or so of the bean liquid. Slowly pour in small amounts and stir in the hot pot until you achieve the best consistency. You may not require the entire amount.
Add a touch of smoked paprika, cayenne, red pepper flakes, or chili powder if you like things hot
Refrigerate the cooked peas within 2 hours of cooking in an airtight container and use them within 4 or 5 days.