Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Soup

black-eyed peas and greens soup
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
127 Calories
4g Fat
15g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 127
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 781mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 10g
Calcium 95mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This flavorful soup can be cooked on the stovetop or in a crockpot. Either way, it makes a great meal with cornbread and a tossed salad.

Because it contains three lucky ingredients, it is an excellent all-in-one choice for a New Year's Day lunch or dinner. It is believed that the black-eyed peas symbolize coins, the greens symbolize paper money, and the ham signifies prosperity. Add a pan of hot baked cornbread—the gold—and you will have the perfect good-luck meal. This New Year's traditional dish is said to date back to the American Civil War. According to another legend, black-eyed peas were symbolic of the emancipation of enslaved people who were officially freed on New Year's Day.

Black-eyed peas are particularly popular in the Southern U.S. When prepared with ham and rice, it's called "Hoppin' John," and when it's marinated in vinegar, it's called "Texas caviar." Black-eyed peas are popular around the world and it is a misnomer to call them peas, they are actually beans.

If you are serving vegetarian friends and family, simply omit the ham and use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. You also can add more vegetables to the soup like diced carrots, rutabaga or turnip, or chopped turnip greens with diced turnip, and cook them along with the diced onion and celery.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup onion (diced)
  • 1 cup celery (diced)
  • 1/2 cup sweet bell pepper (red or green, diced)
  • 4 to 6 ounces ham (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups turnip greens (or spinach, frozen, thawed, and chopped)
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Optional: kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the celery is tender. Add the bell pepper, ham, and garlic to the pan and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently.

  2. To the ham and vegetable mixture, add the chicken stock, black-eyed peas, turnip greens or spinach, tomatoes, Creole seasoning, pepper, and oregano. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (If you are using a slow cooker, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or on high for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.)

  3. Taste and add salt as needed.

Make Your Own Black-Eyed Peas

Pick over 1 pound of black-eyed peas and remove any malformed or damaged peas. Rinse well, put beans in a large pot with 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the beans stand for 1 hour. Drain the peas, rinse them, and then put them back in the pot. Cover with 2 1/2 quarts of fresh water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring the peas to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes or until tender. 

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