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A serving of Black Eye Peas Soup Recipe in a blue bowl.

Black Eyed Pea Soup

 A New Years tradition, this Black Eyed Pea Soup incredibly easy to make, healthy and so very delicious. Serve over brown rice with my Mom's Old Fashioned Cornbread for a Southern soul food way to ring in the year.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Black Eyed Peas Soup, Cooking Black Eyed Peas
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Soaking Time 8 hours
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 281kcal
Author Heather


  • 16 ounces black eyed peas *presoaked, See Note #1 below
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pound ham hocks *ham shanks or leftover ham, See Note #2 below
  • 1 large onion *diced, about 1 1/2-2 cups
  • 4 stalks celery *diced
  • 7 cloves garlic *crushed or diced, See Note #3 below
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoon basil
  • 2 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper See Note #4 below
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  • Place all the ingredients into a large stockpot.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling stir, lower heat to lowest setting and cover.
  • Simmer stirring occasionally until beans are tender, about 1 1/2- 2 hours.
  • Remove ham hocks from beans, place onto a plate and remove meat from bones. Cut ham into smaller pieces if necessary and add back into beans. Dispose of bone and skin.
  • Beans may be served at this time.
    See Note #5 below for instructions on thickening soup.


Recipe Notes
Note #1- To soak beans overnight (approximately 8-12 hours) rinse beans and pick through them to remove any debris or rocks. Place beans in a large bowl or stockpot and cover with 2 inches of room temperature water. Once they have soaked, drain the beans and rinse well. 
A quick soak of the beans will take approximately 1 hour. Place the rinsed and picked though beans in a stockpot covered in 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil for 1 full minute. Take of heat, cover and let the beans sit for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans well.
Note #2- Ham hocks generally tend to be bonier whereas ham shanks are meatier. Both will add wonderful flavor to the beans. When using leftover holiday ham cut as much of the meat off of the bone. Additionally, use the bone when cooking because it will add wonderful flavor to the beans. 
Note #3- 7 cloves of garlic (or approximately 2 tablespoons) may seem like an excessive amount. However, it a crucial element to bringing in depth of flavor. 
Note #4- For spicy Black Eyed Pea Soup use anywhere from 1 tsp (a medium heat)- 1 tablespoon (very hot heat). For anyone who is sensitive to spicy heat, simply eliminate from recipe. 
Note #5- To thicken soup in the classic Southern style either continue simmering the beans for an addition 20-30 minutes. Another option would be to remove 1 cup of beans, mash them with a potato masher and stir back into the pot of beans. 
Instant Pot Instructions- Place soaked and drained beans along with all other ingredients into a 6 quart or larger Instant Pot. Place lid on and close valve to the sealed position. Cook on high pressure (or bean setting) for 30 minutes. Allow for natural release for 10 minutes and the carefully do a quick release. Remove ham hocks from beans and place on plate. Remove the meat from the bone and add back into beans. Discard the bones. 
Crockpot Instructions- Add all the ingredients to a large Crockpot. Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Remove ham hocks from beans and place on plate. Remove the meat from the bone and add back into beans. Discard the bones. 


Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 624mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 681IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 3mg