Fall and Winter, Instant Pot, Intermediate, New Year's, Slow Cooker, Soups and Stews, Southern

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Black eyed pea soup with ham is a hearty, smoky, and slightly spicy dish that will warm you up even on the chilliest of fall nights.

bowl of black eyed pea soup with a dollop of soup cream, sprinkle of cayenne pepper and sliced green onions

Over a year ago, my husband and I had dinner with another couple at a local restaurant. My husband ordered a bowl of their soup of the day – black-eyed pea soup.  My husband is a big black-eyed pea lover (the legume; not the band), so it wasn’t any surprise that he thought this soup was anything short of amazing. 

I have to admit, even I thought it was pretty darn tasty.  Not long afterwards, he asked me to recreate the soup.  Of course, the restaurant isn’t going to hand out their recipes to just anyone, so I set out to create a recipe that was pretty close.

How to Make Black Eyed Pea Soup

Black eyed pea soup is not only tasty and filling, but it is also economical. It uses dried black eyed peas that do not need to be soaked beforehand. It’s also a great way to use up leftover ham from a holiday meal. I used two leftover hambones for seasoning, but you could also use ham hocks. Since this soup is meant to cook low and slow, it adapts well for stovetop, Instant Pot or slow cooker methods.

Ingredients You Will Need

black eyed pea soup ingrediets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 ham hocks or two ham bones
  • 1 pound dried black eyed peas
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/4 cups diced cooked ham

Stove Top Method

Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. If using hambones, make sure the stock pot is large enough to allow the large ham bones to lay flat inside the post. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, ham bones (or ham hocks) and black eyed peas. Sauté for five minutes. Next, add the chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring the soup to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for two hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

ham bones cooking in a large pot with black eyed peas, bell peppers and chicken broth

Remove ham hocks or ham bones and set aside to cool. Once the hambones are cool enough to handle, remove any remaining meat and add it to the soup. Discard the bones. Add the seasonings and diced ham and cook until heated through, about five minutes.

Instant Pot Method

Pour the oil into the insert of the Instant Pot and press the SAUTE function. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, ham hocks and black eyed peas. Sauté for five minutes. Next, add the chicken stock and bay leaves. Turn off the SAUTE function. Seal the Instant Pot lid and select the MANUAL function. Set the timer for 30 minutes. Let the pressure drop naturally.

Remove the ham hocks from the soup. Once the ham hocks are cool enough to touch, remove the meat and add it to the soup. Discard the bones. Add the seasonings and diced ham and stir to heat through.

Slow Cooker Method

Add all the ingredients except the diced ham into the crock of a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for eight hours or high for four hours. Before serving, stir in the diced ham until heated through.

Before serving, I like to add a dollop of sour cream to the top along with an extra sprinkling of cayenne and a few additional diced green onions. My husband likes to add a few dashes of hot sauce. Serve with a wedge of hot buttered cornbread or cheese and bacon muffins on the side.

How to Store Leftover Black Eyed Pea Soup

Once cooled, black eyed pea soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftovers need to be eaten within 4-7 days. Since the peas will soak up much of the liquid, you may need to add a little chicken broth to thin out the soup when you reheat.

I don’t recommend freezing black eyed pea soup as the process of freezing and thawing will break down the beans and give them a mushy texture. However, if you own a pressure canner, I have had great success with canning this soup. Simply pour into clean quart jars, leave 1-inch of headspace and process for 90 minutes at 10 pound of pressure.

bowl of black eyed pea soup with a dollop of soup cream, sprinkle of cayenne pepper and sliced green onions

More Black Eyed Pea Recipes You Might Enjoy:

bowl of black eyed pea soup with a dollop of soup cream, sprinkle of cayenne pepper and sliced green onions
Print Pin
4.63 from 8 votes

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Black eyed pea soup is a hearty, smoky, and slightly spicydish that will warm you up even on the chilliest of fall nights.
Course Entree, Main Courses, Soup
Cuisine American, Cajun, Creole
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 people
Calories 144kcal
Author Lisa B.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions
  • 1 medium green bell pepper diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 ham hocks or 2 ham bones
  • 1 pound dried black eyed peas
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/4 cups diced cooked ham

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.
  • Add onion, green onions, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ham hocks or ham bones, and black eyed peas. Sauté for five minutes.
  • Add chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover pot and simmer for two hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
  • Remove ham hocks or ham bones and discard. Add remaining ingredients.
  • Simmer until ham is heated through, about five minutes.

Notes

Once cooled, black eyed pea soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftovers need to be eaten within 4-7 days. Since the peas will soak up much of the liquid, you may need to add a little chicken broth to thin out the soup when you reheat.
I don’t recommend freezing black eyed pea soup as the process of freezing and thawing will break down the beans and give them a mushy texture. However, if you own a pressure canner, I have had great success with canning this soup. Simply pour into clean quart jars, leave 1-inch of headspace and process for 90 minutes at 10 pound of pressure.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 538mg | Fiber: 6g | Calcium: 800mg | Iron: 0.4mg

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This looks delicious. It’s on my list of to-makes for this weekend. Thanks so much, Amy

  2. Jen @ MaplenCornbread

    5 stars
    I know what I am making this weekend!!!! We love peas in our house, my husband cant get enough of them and Im always looking for new ways to prepare them!!!

  3. 5 stars
    this looks so good and warm and filling! I’ve actually never had black eyed peas before, but recently I’ve been wanting to try them. Now I have a good recipe to do so 🙂

  4. The peas are not prepped/soaked ahead of time?

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