Smokey Black-eyed Pea Soup with Collard Greens

Every year we have done a new black-eyed pea recipe for good luck in the New Year. We didn’t invent the concept, but the idea of some good luck to kick off the New Year resonates with us, as it does with others around the world (and as the recipe creator, it’s fun to work with parameters sometimes).

I love how random it is that black-eyed peas are considered lucky. Not lentils or black beans, or mandarin oranges, leftover stuffing or tequila shots, but quirky, distinct, smooth but easy to forget about, black-eyed peas.

I can certainly think of worst ways to start off the New Year than a beautiful, nourishing bowl of brightly coloured soup (like that year Santa decided my irresponsible teenaged self needed an entire box of chocolate turtles all to myself).

Although they both reflect love, this soup is the opposite of a box of turtles. I have actually been eating it for breakfast over the last week in hopes of balancing out some Holiday indulgences (I blame the baby), and as it turns out, it’s a nice way to start the day.

Not chilly like a green smoothie, but still full of phytonutrients and fiber. The black-eyed peas give it lasting power and all of those veggies simmered together are far more delicious than the ‘baby’ carrots on many Holiday crudités platters.

And then there are the collard greens. Whenever my husband sees these in the fridge he gets excited because he thinks we’re having Veggie Burgers or Falafel for dinner (we do that a lot). But they are also delicious when cooked, (the Southern USA knows all about this) and we do it, in our own way, in this soup.

We like to keep them bright green by adding them at the end, same as we do with the more fragile herbs and other fresh greens in hot recipes. They are cancer-crushing crucifers (like broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts), which makes them that much more lovable, but feel free to replace them with whatever wilt-able greens you can find or need to use up.

If you are invited anywhere for New Years Eve, this would make a great host gift (something lucky, healthy and delicious to wake up to!) Or perhaps you have planned a soup party for a sick friend? Add this one to the list, it tastes great and freezes really well.

Other options for lucky New Year recipes:
Black-eyed Peas and Greens:

Black-eyed Pea & Squash Chilli:

Or check the ‘Legumes’ tab on the sidebar and simply sub in black-eyed peas for other legumes in a recipe that catches your eye. Or let us know in the comments below if you have any black-eyed pea recipe traditions that hit it out of the park every year –we love a little inspo.

Happy New Year Everyone! Wishing you all of the health and happiness in 2017!

Smokey Black Eyed Pea Soup with Collard Greens
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
  • 1.5 c Black Eyed Peas, soaked, drained and cooked until tender (with a sheet of kombu)
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Leek, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 tsp dried Chili Flakes
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Dried Turmeric (2 tsp if using fresh)
  • 1 Sheet of Kombu
  • 1 Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ c Sun dried Tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 6 c Stock or Water
  • 5-6 large Collard Green Leaves, stems removed, leaves sliced thinly (you can finely slice the stems and add them too, or juice them)
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Sea(weed) Salt
  • Several grinds of Black Pepper (to enhance turmeric absorption)
  1. In a large pot, warm the coconut oil on medium heat with a splash of water and add the onion, leek, garlic and celery.
  2. Sauté until softened.
  3. Add the turmeric, smoked paprika, thyme, bay leaves, chili flakes and cooked black eyed peas.
  4. Sauté for another minute.
  5. Add the water and kombu and bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the peppers and sun dried tomatoes, simmer for another 10 minutes.
  7. Adjust seasoning with sea(weed) salt and pepper.
  8. Optional: at this point you can take 2 or 3 cups out, blend it up and return them to the pot (or stick an immersion blender in and pulse it a few times) to make a thicker soup.
  9. Turn off the heat and stir in the collard greens (they will wilt and turn bright green from the residual heat).
  10. Serve right away or if you're making it the day before, don't add the collard greens until you reheat it, right before serving (they will stay fresher and greener that way).
  11. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over each bowl before serving (to enhance iron absorption and because it tastes good).


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