Chris' family has a tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year's day. It's supposed to bring good luck throughout the year. Since Chris so graciously adopted all of my family's (sometimes crazy) traditions, I felt as though this one would be easy for us to stick to.
I was originally going to save this recipe to share with you next year, but since it's such a hearty soup I figured it would be perfect to share this winter. I had never cooked beans in a slow cooker before and was a little hesitant, but they turned out perfectly. The soup becomes thick, almost like a stew or chili, and the chili powder gives it a little kick. The ham is entirely optional if you want to make this vegetarian, but I think it adds great flavor to the beans. This is a perfect weeknight meal. Some of us even let it sit and thicken up for a little and used it as a dip with tortilla chips. Delicious. Enjoy!
- 8 oz. smoked lean ham steak, diced
- 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
Soak peas overnight in 6 cups of water. The next morning, drain peas and add to slow cooker. Add 4 cups of water, bay leaves and ham. Cover and cook on high 5 hours or until the beans are tender.
After 5 hours, in a large frying pan, add oil and sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and tomato until soft, about 6 minutes. Add to the slow cooker and season black eyed peas generously with cumin, chipotle chili powder, chili powder, salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on high for 1 more hour. Discard bay leaves and serve.
Source: The Savvy Kitchen
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