Black-Eyed-Pea Soup with Greens and Ham

There's nothing better than a pot of Southern-style slow-simmered greens, flavored with salty ham and a dose of vinegar. Our quick soup starts with the same ingredients, adds black-eyed peas and a shot of Tabasco, and cooks in no time. Add more Tabasco or vinegar to suit your taste.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 6 scallions, white bulbs and green tops chopped and reserved separately
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound Swiss chard or other greens, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 2 10- ounces packages frozen black-eyed peas (about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2- pounds piece ham, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red- or white-wine vinegar

Preparation

  1. 1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the scallion bulbs and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the Swiss chard, black-eyed peas, water, broth, Tabasco, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. 3. Stir the ham into the soup and cook until the ham is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the pepper, vinegar, and scallion tops.
  4. Variations: Instead of the Swiss chard, use your own favorite greens. Collard, mustard, kale, or beet greens would each lend its unique flavor to the soup.
  5. Wine Recommendation: This soup has more than enough oomph to partner a rich California Syrah. Spicy blackberry and green-olive flavors, a strong earthy streak, and solid structure are its hallmarks, and all of these will go well here.
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