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Black-Eyed Pea Soup in a white serving bowl. Spoon resting in bowl. Towel tucked into the bottom corner and plates and cups scattered around.
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5 from 19 votes

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people


  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced-small red bell pepper (or 1 medium red bell pepper)
  • 1 cup diced small carrot (or 1 large carrot)
  • 1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion (or 1 small onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup seeded and finely diced jalapeno (or 1 large jalapeno)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 2 cups diced, cooked ham
  • 24 oz pre-soaked black-eyed peas *see note
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups kale removed from stem and loosely chopped


  • Heat olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, garlic, jalapeno and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until tender, 5-7 minutes.
  • Add in the diced ham and saute 2 more minutes.
  • Add the black-eyed peas, broth, chili powder, cumin, and bay leaf to the pot. Stir to combine then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low (or a light simmer) and let simmer, covered, until the peas are very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • When the peas are tender, add in the kale and stir in until wilted down into the soup. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper, if desired (this will depend on how salty your ham is).
  • Remove the bay leaf. Serve and enjoy!


*If you cannot find pre-soaked black-eyed peas in the fridge section at your local grocery store you can use dried black-eyed peas but you must pre-soak them first by pouring them in a bowl and filling the bowl with water until covered by 2 inches. Let soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight.