Spicy Collard and Black Eyed Pea Soup

I have recently discovered how wonderful and tasty black eyed peas are in soup! I had my first delicious black eyed pea soup at a vegan restaurant and it was so tasty I knew I had to start making my own at home. My first attempt at cooking them was in this Southern style dish with collard greens. Don’t be afraid to try this dish – you will be surprised how slightly smoky and flavorful this is. Good ole’ comfort food from the South.

Spicy Collards & Black Eyed Peas

Many thanks for the recipe from Susan over at Fat Free Vegan. You can serve this soup over a Yukon gold baked potato like I did or a favorite grain like brown rice or quinoa. It has a nice spicy, smoky flavor from roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, hot sauce, cayenne pepper and chipotle pepper. If you want more heat add more cayenne and hot sauce. If you don’t like smoky flavors just use regular tomatoes and regular paprika. Flavorful, filling and a nice change of flavors, this was a hit with everyone who tried it!

Spicy Collards & Black Eyed Pea Soup

 We enjoyed the flavors the first day but I should have cooked it a little longer as the greens weren’t quite as soft as I would have liked. Not only was this my first time cooking black eyed peas but also collard greens. Collard greens are pretty sturdy and it does take some cooking time to break them down and make them softer. The second day I simmered the leftovers on the stove for 20 – 30 minutes and we liked the texture of the collards much better. I will make this again – we give it a two thumbs up!

 Spicy Collard and Black-eyed Pea Soup 

From Fat Free Vegan for pressure cooker or the stove top

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed – no pre-soaking needed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 pound collard greens, tough stems removed and greens chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (divided)
  • 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
  • 2 cups water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 -2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon double strength tomato paste (or 2 tbsp. regular)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Spray a pressure cooker or large pot with a light coating of olive oil or non-stick spray. (If your pot is non-stick, just add a little water instead.) Heat it and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.

Add the black-eyed peas, water, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano.

If using a pressure cooker, seal the cooker and cook for 10 minutes after it reaches high pressure; use a quick-release method to bring down the pressure.

If cooking in a regular pot, cook until peas are tender, about 45-55 minutes.

Once the peas are tender, add all remaining ingredients and cook for at least 25 minutes to allow flavors to develop and for greens to become tender.

Notes: I think you could make this in a slow cooker too but I haven’t tried it. I would cook it for 8 – 10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.

Serving Suggestions; serve over a baked potato, rice or quinoa.

Yield: 6 Servings

Nutritional Information

Per Serving; 242 Calories; 1g Total Fat; 16g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 488mg Sodium; 11g Fiber.

Recipe from Fat Free Vegan.

Nutmeg Notes

I like trying new foods and I have found that my taste in food has changed over time. Currently I am fond of flavors found in Indian Cuisine like curry, tumeric and garam masala, the smokey flavors found in Mexican/Southwest dishes using roasted peppers and lots of cumin as well as a wide variety of chili powders. My dried herb and spice collection is growing! It makes cooking and eating such a pleasure. As they say “variety is the spice of life”.

Speaking of dried spices and herbs be sure to go through your spices every 6 months or so and pitch the ones that are getting old. They do lose their flavor boost over time and become flat and tasteless. Open the container and take a whiff – if you can’t smell it – toss it!

Happy Healthy Cooking!


Add Your Thoughts

Have you ever tried black eyed peas or collard greens?

What spices and cuisines are you enjoying these days?


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  1. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I have never made black eyed peas. The soup sounds delicious!

    Great reminder about spices. I have to go through mine!

    1. Tami says:

      Sometimes when a dish doesn’t turn out to have much flavor it dawns on me that the dried herbs or spices might be old!

  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    Being from the South, I’ve tried all the greens (collard, mustard, turnip, etc.) and black-eyed peas. Can’t say I’m fond of any of them. 🙂 I will eat the peas as part of a salad, but not like my family does–served alongside a sliced, raw Vidalia.

    1. Tami says:

      I have never had black eyed peas the real southern style with pork but I sure do like them like this or in an Indian dish. 🙂

  3. Lori says:

    I have tried some great collard greens done with a smoked ham hock (not vegan, but delicious!). I am not a pea fan, though.

    I am all about Indian food. I just love it. I love cooking the spices in the oil before adding other ingredients because it brings out so much more flavor.

    1. Tami says:

      The black eyed peas are really a bean – they don’t taste anything like a pea! I was shocked when I saw huge bags of them at the Indian grocery store – but the first black eyed pea soup I had was made with Indian spices – who knew? I do a dry method of heating up the spices and then add a little touch of water or vegetable broth instead of the oil and it works beautifully while saving on calories.

  4. Renee@Mykitchenadventures says:

    oh I am so excited to read your recipe because I just so happen to have collard greens sitting in my fridge right now and just picked up an applewood smoked ham hock. So this recipe is totally going on the menu this week!! Thanks Tami!!

    1. Tami says:

      Great minds think alike Renee! 🙂

  5. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    I have never tried anything like that – sorry! 😉

    I love the typical spices of the season! I am boring & predictable that way!

    1. Tami says:

      Hey – you like what you like Jody and there is nothing wrong with that.

  6. Veronica says:

    This is the type of food I grew up on, and I swear the photo reminds me so much of a soup my mom made one time when I was actually craving something healthy and really went to town on it! So this calls to my sentimental side, as well as my foodie side. <3

    1. Tami says:

      Oh that is such a sweet memory Veronica! Now you have to make this soup. 🙂

  7. Helen says:

    I make Hoppin’ John every single New Year. Doesn’t feel right unless I do. Other than that, I have a fabulous recipe for Black-Eyed Pea and Mushroom Soup that is quick and delicious. Now that you’ve made me think about it I’ll need to make some!

    1. Tami says:

      I have heard of Hoppin John but have never tried it. Is the Black Eyed Pea and mushroom soup recipe on your blog? That sounds wonderful.

  8. TracyP says:

    I made this today in my slow cooker. It is delicious! My husband said, “This is surprisingly good.” He’s not the biggest fan of greens, but by the time the soup was done, the collards had mellowed and were very tasty. Thanks for another great recipe.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Tracy! Thanks for coming back and letting me know how much you enjoyed this recipe. I am glad that your hubby also enjoyed it – good to know that it worked well in the slow cooker too. 🙂

  9. Beca says:

    Loved this recipe! The soup was comforting and hearty… I appreciated that it accomplished that without white potatoes or meat (trying to cut down on both this year!)

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Becca. I’m glad you liked this recipe. Thre are so many amazing plant based recipes to be enjoyed.

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