Holiday season over! Christmas tree history! Wrapping paper and decorations pushed back into the closet! It’s time to get back to work. The fall was busy. When Thanksgiving rolled around, I decided to take a breath, dedicate more time to the girls, and not take any orders.  I really wanted the girls to enjoy the lead up to Christmas this year. I wanted to enjoy it myself. It’s the time between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and Christmas morning that they really enjoy the most. Going to holiday concerts, braving the crowds in shopping malls, getting to see the holiday lights around town and decorating the tree, is what they remember, and talk about with their friends, when they get back to school. So, I put work on hold, and went full steam ahead making Christmas 2011 the merriest yet! We made cookies, drove 45 minutes to a cut your own tree farm, and took the Acela train to NYC. We stood in lines, visited with Santa, went to American Girl and Dylan’s candy shop, managed to squeak in Disney on Ice and celebrated Iris’ fourth birthday! 

I was ready for it to end and satisfied when it did. As Rose made her way to bed Christmas night, she looked at Big Daddy and told him it was the “best Christmas ever”! Her declaration made all the craziness worth it! Feeling extremely content I was ready to ring in 2012. The year ended focusing on family, friends and cheer.
Before the break something peeked my interest.  Caught my attention.  I feel re-energized and very excited to find out where it is going to lead.  Today it has led to this really great soup. My grandfather loved making soup with beans and greens.

 He would have loved this one. Here is the recipe!

Note: I never soak my beans. I add them to the pot while frying the vegetables and then let them cook in with the stock. It takes about 45- 1 hour before they are tender. You can soak them ahead of time if you would like and cut down on the amount of cooking time. The jalopeno peppers and red pepper flakes give the soup a nice bite. If you don’t like spice then leave them out. 

Black Eyed Pea Soup
makes 4-6 servings

2 cups dried black-eyed peas

1 smoked ham hock

1⁄3 cup olive oil


1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
1⁄4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 10oz can Ro-Tel© tomatoes chunky with green chilies
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño (seeds removed)
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
8 cups of chicken stock
1 lb. collard greens, ribs removed, 

   leaves roughly chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground 
black pepper, to taste
5 cups cooked long-grain white rice
Chopped fresh scallions for garnish
Spring of fresh cilantro


1.    In a soup pot, heat oil and sauté onions, garlic, bay leaf, carrots, ham and ham hock until tender and translucent. 3-5 minutes


2.   Add beans, bay leaf, jalapeño and red pepper flakes. Cook another 2-3 minutes.
3.   Add Ro-Tel© tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1  hours or until beans are tender. 
4.   Add lime juice and collards. Simmer for 15 minutes.
5.   Season with salt and pepper.
6.   Serve over white rice. Garnish with scallions and cilantro

One thought on “2012 Black Eyed Pea Soup

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s