Black Eyed Peas – a southern tradition

In Cooking, Uncategorized on January 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Does your family partake in black-eyed peas for New Year’s Day?  My family celebrates this tradition, which is a New Year’s ritual for future prosperity.  Apparently it is a southern thing though, because my yankee in-laws do not partake.   I still love them, but I also love peas and think any excuse is a good one.

Since I also love soup… I decided to take a popular Italian bean soup, Pasta e Fagioli (which is actual pronounced pasta fazool – yeah I didn’t get that either…), and I gave it a southern twist.

Southern Pasta e Fagioli (serves 4)

1 Tbsp EVOO

1/2 pound center cut pork, cubed (small)

3 slices of bacon (for rendered fat)

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup carrot, diced

1 clove of garlic

1/2 tsp rosemary, dried

1/2 tsp thyme, dried

1 bay leaf

pinch red pepper flakes, optional

14 ounces of chicken stock

14 ounces of diced tomatoes, canned with juice

1 can of black-eyed peas

3/4 cup Ditalini, small pasta (means little thimbles in Italian – so cute!)

1 tsp lemon zest, optional (I love the freshness this adds)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Heat  EVOO in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat.  Pat pork dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper; cook in oil once heated.  Once meat has browned remove from pan, this does not have to be fully cooked as it will finish cooking in soup.  Add the bacon, cook to render fat; remove bacon and add onion and whole smashed garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes.  Add celery and carrots and saute for an additional 3-4 minutes; remove from heat until ready to combine in soup.  Discard the garlic, it has fulfilled its garlic destiny.

Puree half of the peas or smash with a fork.  In a large pot add the broth, tomatoes the bean puree, browned pork and herbs.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and add the dry pasta, cook for about 8 minutes. Add the remaining whole peas and vegetables; heat through.  Season the soup with ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and stir in lemon zest. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with some Parmesan, EVOO or topping of your choice! *add more broth or tomato juice as needed if soup is too thick

This is the first time I have eaten black-eyed peas in soup.  It was different and very good, but honestly there are so many things that are good about the soup that black-eyed peas are not the “star”.  So I guess if you don’t like peas this may be a good way to get your traditional New Year’s serving in 2012.  Also the pork was not a traditional ingredient, but I wanted to “beef” up the protein as it were, but the recipe would be just as good without the extra meat.  This soup was delicious and despite how long the post is… this came together fairly quick with only some minor chopping prep!

Healthy and Blessings to you all in 2011!! 😀

  1. I loved your comment about your “yankee in-laws” that was cute. I bet if I ever taste your black-eyed peas, I’d like them – better anyway—

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