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This wonderfully healthy collards and black-eyed pea soup by Sarah Cooper is a natural for New Year's Day. It started as a Cuban-style collards soup that included bacon fat, short ribs, Cuban sausage and ham hocks. Eventually Ms. Cooper decided to "de-fat" and change some of the ingredients to typical southern ones. The results are both aromatic and hearty, perfect on a cold day. To shorten prep and cooking time, you can use canned black-eyed peas, drained, rinsed and added towards the end of cooking time. Note: the recipe does not include soaking time for the dried peas. From the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
- 1 lb cubed ham
- 1 lb lean stewing beef, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 24 ounces fresh collard greens, tough stems removed & roughly chopped
- frozen collard greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- salsa (chow-chow is good, too)
- Wash and pick over the dried beans. Cover with 2 inches of water and allow the beans to soak overnight.
- In a stock pot, combine 2 quarts water, ham, beef, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Rinse the soaked beans and add them to the pot. Cook, uncovered, until tender, about 1 hour. Add the potatoes and collards and boil for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the vegetables to the soup pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour. Salt to taste.
- Optionally top each serving with a garnish of a spoonful of salsa or chow-chow.
I saw this recipe last winter, I think in the newspaper and have made it several times. My family loves it! I found some spicy chow-chow at a farmers market and bought it specifically to have on this soup.