Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Corn Bread Croutons

Watercress provides a peppery finish to this down-home combination of bacon, black-eyed peas, and corn bread. Look for corn bread muffins or loaves in the bakery section or frozen bread section of your supermarket, or use leftovers you've saved.

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6 servings

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 333
Caloriesfromfat 18 %
Fat 6.8 g
Satfat 2.7 g
Monofat 2.2 g
Polyfat 0.9 g
Protein 17 g
Carbohydrate 51.9 g
Fiber 13.1 g
Cholesterol 10 mg
Iron 4.9 mg
Sodium 689 mg
Calcium 84 mg


1 cup (1-inch) cubed corn bread (about 3 1/2 ounces)
4 applewood-smoked bacon slices, chopped
3 cups chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups cooked black-eyed peas
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup chopped trimmed watercress


Preheat oven to 350°.

Arrange corn bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Set bacon aside. Add onion and garlic to drippings; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and next 5 ingredients (through pepper); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until beans are very tender.

Place half of bean mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining bean mixture. Ladle about 1 1/3 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons watercress, 2 1/2 tablespoons croutons, and about 1 1/2 teaspoons bacon.


Jeanne Kelley,

December 2007
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