Black-Eyed Pea Soup {Lucky Bean Soup}

Black-Eyed Pea Soup {Lucky Bean Soup}


Black-eyed Pea Soup

Last year for New Year’s day I, along with millions of others, made black-eyed peas, and explained to my oldest daughter we eat them because they bring you luck for the new year.  Black-eyed peas instantly became known as lucky beans here, and the girls each enjoyed a large helping.  This year when we headed to the store to buy some lucky beans, I got the question every parent hears at least a hundred times a day…why?  Why do we eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s day?  I had no idea how to answer.  It’s a good thing we have Google now!  I found an interesting article with the history of black-eyed peas, and some rules to eating the “lucky beans” on New Year’s day to make sure you get lucky.

It’s been cold and rainy in Atlanta for the last week, and there is nothing better than a large bowl of soup to warm you up.  I’ve always used canned tomatoes for soup recipes.  They are convenient, and almost all soup recipes call for them, but last week I became curious about replacing canned tomatoes with fresh.  There is no way I could ever go back to using canned tomatoes now!!  The flavor from fresh tomatoes is unbelievable, you aren’t getting BPA and other chemicals from the cans, and it only takes a couple minutes to prepare the fresh tomatoes!  More reason to plant some tomatoes in the garden.

You’ll need to peel the tomatoes to use in the soup.  You could use a peeler if you have one that will work on tomatoes or give them a quick blanch.  To prepare fresh tomatoes — bring water to a boil in a large pot, next to it have a bowl of ice water.  Clean the tomatoes and slice a shallow X on the bottom and top.

Using fresh tomatoes to replace canned

Using a slotted spoon, drop the tomatoes into the boiling water.  After about 30 seconds, you will see the skin start to peel back.  Remove the tomatoes and drop them in the ice bath for a couple minutes to stop the cooking process.  Once cooled, continue peeling off the skin.

Using fresh tomatoes instead of canned

Then I quartered the tomatoes and removed any seeds before chopping and adding to the soup.

Using fresh tomatoes instead of canned

Everything else with the soup is straight forward.  I find it’s easiest to prepare all the veggies before starting to cook.  On one cutting board, I will chop the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery since they all go in together.  Then, I’ll chop the kale separately, and vegetable stock measured and ready to go.  It makes the process much easier!

Black-eyed Pea Soup

I hope lucky beans bring all of you luck and prosperity in 2013.  Stay safe and smart while you celebrate.  Happy New Year!

Black-eyed Pea Soup {Lucky Bean Soup}
5.0 from 4 reviews
Recipe: Soup
Author: Victoria – Green Plate Rule
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 1 hour 35 mins
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups of dry black-eyed peas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups of tomatoes – peeled, seeded, and chopped (4 – 5 tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 4 cups of kale, rib removed and slice kale into 1″ribbons
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce, optional
  1. Add dry beans to a heavy bottomed pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour. Or soak beans overnight.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the soaked beans, tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf, and stock to the pot. Cover and cook until beans are soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid, add the kale and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve warm.
  7. I like to add a couple drops of hot sauce to my bowl before eating.

You could use collard greens in place of kale in this recipe. The collards will need to cook longer, about 15 – 20 minutes.


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5 comments… read them below or add one

Kim Sullivan January 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Made the soup for dinner tonight and it was delicious!! Thanks for sharing. The fresh tomatoes were so much better than canned!!


Leslie January 2, 2013 at 10:16 am

Loved this soup! I am new to the south and heard about this tradition so wanted to make it. And right on queue, you posted this recipe! I didn’t even search for another. And I love that you linked the article about the history…wanted to explain that to my two girls, also, and you saved me the search. Thank you so much for all your recipes…you are my go-to for meals and snacks…seriously. I have yet to have a negative experience from your website. Happy New Year! My 4 yr and 18 month old will have a lucky one after gobbling up your soup!


Colleen January 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Made this for New Years Day and it was a big hit!


Ally @ Om Nom Ally January 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Now I know all about “lucky beans”! I loved reading about the history, food anecdotes always intrigue me :)
A beautiful recipe and great tip about peeling tomatoes, thankyou!


alecia February 24, 2013 at 12:22 am

Incredibly easy recipe but amazing results! thank you…


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