In Gourmandistan, we recognize there is a tradition saying eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring good luck in he coming year. We also agree with Edna Lewis that black-eyed peas “are a little dull.” So, in an effort to bring our readers both good luck and good taste in 2011, we present an alternative to the traditional peas and rice. Happy New Year, everybody!
BLACK-EYED PEA SOUP
(adapted from Elizabeth and Alexis Terry’s Savannah Seasons: Food and Stories from Elizabeth on 37th)
- 2-1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas
- 2 oz. bacon, diced
- 6 oz. Italian sausage (we used a chicken sausage), diced
- 6 cloves chopped garlic
- 3 small carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 1 red pepper, cored and diced
- 2 TB. flour
- Minced fresh thyme (about 1/4 cup) or dried, to taste
- 2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 4 oz. country ham, diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup sherry
Wash dried peas in a colander and pick out bad ones and stones. Put peas in a large soup pot. Add enough water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 1/2 an hour. Turn off heat and set aside. (Do not drain.)
Sauté bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Add sausage and brown. Add diced vegetables and sauté until beginning to brown. Add flour and thyme and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes, stirring.
Add contents of skillet to cooked peas. Then add ham and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes (until peas are done). Add sherry, and season with salt and pepper.