Add the diced onion, 1 clove sliced garlic, egg and rice to the sausage in a mixing bowl. Wet your hands a bit and roll the sausage meat into small meatballs.
Heat the bacon drippings in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Sear the meatballs quickly in the bacon fat, so that they are well-browned. Add the chicken broth, 1 clove sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and black-eyed peas and bring to a boil. Simmer a few minutes and add the greens, thyme and basil and continue to simmer slowly until the soup is hot and the meatballs and rice are done. Taste and season well with salt and pepper.
Divide the meatballs among 6 soup bowls and ladle soup into each bowl.