Black Eyed Peas – Tonight’s going to be a good good night!

Black Eyed Pea Soup

What would the New Year be without black eyed peas for luck? Since they are really a bean, I like to cook them as a bean soup.

The whole process starts with a ham bone and some beans. I like to soak my beans overnight in salt water. For a pound of beans I use about a tablespoon of kosher salt and enough water to cover the beans. If you can get fresh beans (beans that haven’t been dried) you can skip this step.

Boil your ham bone with mirepoix (carrot, celery and onion in a ratio of 1:1:2), salt (use only at the end of the cooking process if needed) and pepper to taste to and strain to make your stock.

Rinse your beans in cold water and bring to a boil with your ham stock (about 6 cups for a pound of beans). At this point you can simmer over low heat or transfer to a crock pot for a several hours. I have a ceramic bean pot that I pour this into and set into the oven at 250 degrees for several hours. The great thing about this is you can leave it longer and it won’t matter, the salt you soaked the beans in will help them hold up to longer cooking times.

To finish the soup I sauté fresh mirepoix with some garlic in olive oil and add to the beans with a little diced ham for the final hour of cooking.

Good Luck and Happy New Year!