The leftover ham bone from a holiday spiral cut ham is perfect for making this soup. The salty sweet flavor of smoked ham goes very nicely with the earthy flavor of the black-eyed peas - a traditional pairing in Southern (US) cuisine, in dishes like hoppin' john. If you don't happen to have a ham bone, use a ham hock or just some diced smoked ham to give this soup its best flavor. Frozen black-eyed peas makes for a much shorter cooking time.Eating black-eyed peas at the start of the new year is thought to bring good luck, though this soup is a great fall recipe too. For extra good luck, serve this soup with cornbread or rolls and collard greens.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
- 1 ham bone, from a spiral cut ham or other cooked ham, or 1 smoked ham hock, or several thick slices of smoked ham, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chile pepper (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 carrots
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 1 (16-oz.) package frozen black-eyed peas
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the onion into medium dice, and peel and finely mince the garlic cloves. Peel and slice the carrots and celery into bite-size pieces. Chop the bell pepper. Mince the jalapeno, carefully removing the seeds and white parts.
- Place the olive oil in a large stockpot or soup pot (large enough to fit the ham bone). Cook the chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat, stirring, until they are soft and transluscent.
- Add the cumin, chile pepper, and garlic powder, and cook for 2-3 minutes longer. Add the chopped carrots, celery, bell pepper, and jalapeno to the pot and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and fragrant.
- Add the ham bone to the pot (or ham hock, or diced ham), along with the chicken stock. Stir in the frozen black-eyed peas, vinegar, and sugar.
- Simmer the soup gently, uncovered, until the beans are well-cooked and the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Carefully remove the ham bone from the pot. Remove any meat remaining on the bone, chop, and add chopped ham back to the pot.
- Serve soup warm with cornbread or rolls and collard greens.