Filled with pork and greens, this easy black eyed pea soup recipe uses canned black eyed peas and pre-cooked kielbasa for maximum flavor with minimum effort. It's packed with lucky foods for New Year's Day or any day!
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I want you to have good luck and prosperity in the New Year, so I suggest you make this easy black eyed pea soup recipe, pronto. It's filled with many of the traditional New Year's Day foods like greens and black-eyed peas to bring money and prosperity, and pork to keep you moving forward toward bigger and better things.
You can make it ahead, so it's ready on New Year's Day when you're too tired and hungover to do anything but reheat. It's full of rich flavor from kielbasa and bacon. The longer it simmers, the more pork-y flavor, and the more earthiness from the black-eyed peas.
Serve it with cornbread - another lucky New Year's Day food - and add a splash of vinegar and/or hot sauce if you so desire. You can really make this all fall and winter long for a hearty, warming meal, and I suggest you do!
- Ingredients you'll need
- How to make black eyed pea soup
- Black eyed pea soup variations
- Tips and tricks
- Make ahead
- Storage and reheating instructions
- What to serve with black eyed pea soup
- What are the traditional foods for New Year's Day?
- More soup recipes
- This quick and easy black eyed pea soup recipe is perfect for New Year's Day or any chilly fall or winter day!
Ingredients you'll need
- Black-eyed peas: I use canned black-eyed peas. Let's keep this quick and easy.
- Kielbasa: Kielbasa adds a nice smoky flavor to the soup, and since it's precooked, you only need to brown it a little, which is a real time saver.
- Bacon: This is going to give us the rendered fat we need to cook the vegetables and more pork for prosperity!
- Kale: You can use tuscan kale or curly kale, both work well.
- Carrots and onions: Our aromatic base for the soup broth.
- Chicken stock and salt: I generally buy low-sodium stock at the store, the bacon and kielbasa will add a bit of salt so you want to be able to control the amount yourself. But if you have homemade stock, by all means use it.
How to make black eyed pea soup
Step 1: Prep the onions, carrots, bacon and kielbasa
Dice the onion and carrots. Cut bacon into small squares, slice kielbasa.
Step 2: Brown the bacon and kielbasa
Place a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. I use my Lodge enameled cast iron dutch oven for this recipe. Cook bacon and kielbasa until bacon is crisp and kielbasa is browned.
Step 3: Sweat the carrots and onions
Remove bacon and kielbasa from pot and drain excess grease. In the same pot, cook carrots and onion until onion is translucent and carrots soften.
Step 4: Add the black eyed peas and remaining ingredients and simmer the soup
Add bacon, kielbasa, black-eyed peas and chicken stock to the pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer and add kale. Simmer at least 20 minutes until all flavors are melded, or longer if you wish. Season with salt to taste.
Serve with cornbread.
Black eyed pea soup variations
- If you have the time, you can absolutely use dried black-eyed peas to make this soup. You'll need to soak them beforehand and may need to lengthen the cooking time to allow them to reach the proper texture.
- Almost any greens will work here, so substitute collards (they will take longer to cook), or even fresh or frozen spinach.
- Add sweet potatoes to make it even heartier, or to stretch any leftovers you may have.
- If you like it spicy, add the chile pepper of your choice when cooking down with the carrots and onions.
Tips and tricks
- For a creamier texture, purée some of the black eyed peas with an immersion blender or in a regular blender.
- Wait until the soup is almost finished cooking to add salt. The bacon and kielbasa (and maybe even the black eyed peas) are going to add a lot of salt. As the broth evaporates it will concentrate and if you salted early, your soup could turn out too salty.
I highly recommend you make this black eyed pea soup recipe ahead of time! It tastes even better after it sits in the refrigerator overnight! And things will be much easier on New Year's Day if it's already made... Make it up to 3 days ahead.
It freezes well, so make a big batch and store in the freezer for up to two months.
Storage and reheating instructions
- Store black eyed pea soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To reheat, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat in a large saucepan.
- When reheating leftovers, I sometimes add more chicken stock, or additional vegetables to stretch it into more servings.
This soup freezes very well. Cool it in the refrigerator then freeze in an airtight container for up to two months.
Absolutely! Just eliminate the bacon and kielbasa and prepare the rest of the ingredients as directed.
You can make this black eyed pea soup up to three days ahead.
What to serve with black eyed pea soup
Of course cornbread is a Southern tradition with black eyed pea soup, but you could also try spoonbread if you want something that's gluten free. Pampushky rolls would be perfect for dipping into the rich broth.
What are the traditional foods for New Year's Day?
On New Year's Day we all want to eat foods that will bring wealth, good luck, prosperity, and will keep us progressing forward. Some traditional New Year's Day foods are:
- Black-Eyed Peas
- Ring-shaped foods
More soup recipes
- When you're craving a pot pie but you don't want to bake, Chicken Pot Pie Soup will come to your rescue.
- Potato Cheese Soup is ready in minutes, it's one of my favorite weeknight meals when the weather turns chilly.
- White Chicken Chili puts a spin on the classic, made with white beans and smoky poblano peppers.
This quick and easy black eyed pea soup recipe is perfect for New Year's Day or any chilly fall or winter day!
- Full of the "lucky foods" traditionally eaten on New Year's Day.
- Made with canned black eyed peas and pre-cooked kielbasa for easy prep.
- Kale serves as our greens and cooks quickly which means a shorter total time on the stove.
- Gluten free and dairy free!
- Can be made up to three days ahead.
- It's a great hangover remedy!
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Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe
- 3-4 slices bacon cut into small squares
- 1 smoked kielbasa sausage
- 3-4 carrots diced
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cans black-eyed peas
- 6 cups kale roughly chopped, stems removed
- 8 cups low sodium chicken stock
- kosher salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
- Dice the onion and carrots. Cut bacon into small squares, slice kielbasa.
- In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, cook bacon and kielbasa until bacon is crisp and kielbasa is browned. Remove from pot and drain excess grease.
- In the same pot, cook carrots and onion until onion is translucent and carrots soften.
- Add bacon, kielbasa, black-eyed peas and chicken stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add kale. Simmer about 20 minutes until all flavors are melded, or longer if you wish.
- You can make this easy black-eyed pea soup a few days ahead so all you have to do is re-heat it on New Year's Day. It tastes even better once the flavors have had a chance to meld together.
- I use my Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven for this recipe. It holds the heat well and cooks everything evenly when going from frying the bacon to sweating the veggies to simmering the soup.