Friday, December 28, 2012

Black-Eyed Pea Soup – good luck food for the New Year



All around the world people eat certain foods on New Years that they believe will bring them good luck for the new year. I grew up in the Deep South and we believed that certain food was black-eyed peas. The peas look like little coins when cooked, so they are thought to symbolize wealth. They also swell when cooked, another sign of prosperity.

I alternate between serving black-eyed pea soup and southern caviar for New Years. Today I’ve chosen black-eyed pea soup because a little cold front has dipped its way south and there’s a bit of a chill in Florida. This soup is fantastic with southern style cornbread (meaning not the sweet cornbread), crusty bread, or an old appetizer favorite of ours - sausage cheese balls. Sausage cheese balls have been around for a long time, are very easy to make, and men go crazy for them. Make a lot because they go fast. My friend Lynn at Happier than a Pig in Mud’s recipe is very similar to mine and here’s a link to her recipe. To serve the soup to a crowd, I use coffee mugs in lieu of bowls and pass the sausage cheese balls separately.

Southern “caviar,” also known as Texas or Longhorn caviar, is made using black-eyed peas rather than fish eggs. It’s a spicy, very colorful salad with black-eyed peas, tomatoes, hot peppers, and southwestern spices that can be used as a dip with chips. If you are a frequent reader, you might remember my recipe, link here.


We rarely go out to a restaurant for New Year Eve and chose to either entertain at home or go to a friend’s house nearby. This year we’ll join friends at our condo’s pool house late in the evening for a little get-together, drink some champagne, and watch the fireworks in downtown from our view across the Caloosahatchee River. Everyone brings something to share and I’m planning on taking a big bowl of my southern caviar, or if it’s cool, this black-eyed pea soup.

What are your plans for New Years Eve? Do you go out? Or do you entertain at home? Or do you do what we’ve done occasionally, which is to share a bottle of champagne and ring in the New Year at home all by ourselves.



Black-Eyed Pea Soup
From My Carolina Kitchen – serves 6

12 oz package black-eyed peas
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 peeled carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme or herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon tomato paste - see cook's notes
8 oz tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
7 cups water, or a combination of low sodium, low fat beef broth and water - see cook's notes
Worcestershire sauce, optional
Sour cream for garnish
Optional other garnishes include chopped green scallions, small chunks of sautéed ham, chopped cilantro, seeded & chopped jalapeno peppers

Soak peas overnight in a large stock pot with plenty of water to cover. Drain, rinse, and put back into the stock pot with the beef broth, tomato sauce, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.

While the peas are coming to a boil, sauté the vegetables and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive in a non-stick skillet until softened and beginning to caramelize. Stir frequently. When browned, sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the dried herbs and stir. Then add the tablespoon of tomato paste, stir to incorporate it into the vegetables, and let it brown a moment or two, then add the sautéed vegetables to the peas.

When peas come to a boil, simmer, partially covered, until peas are tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary. Before serving, taste for salt, add if necessary, and discard bay leaves. If you want a touch more flavor, add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Garnish as desired.

Cook's notes: The tomato paste is used to further caramelize the vegetables and the paste should brown a little. For a less “soupy” soup, try 6 cups of liquid and add more liquid if needed.


This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.



Meakin and I wish you and your family a very happy and healthy 2013.  
See you next year. 

50 comments:

  1. Growing up, we had our black-eyed peas "straight" but I've been experimenting with different recipes for years. Both of your's sound delicious. It will be cold here so soup will be our choice. We celebrate New Year's Eve with two of our favorite couples at the same restaurant every year. We dine on the early side and head to our respective homes for a late glass of champagne and a welcome to the new year.

    Wishing you a healthy and happy 2013.

    Best,
    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks delicious! I think I'll fix this as my dear husband would have enjoyed it, and I know I will. Black eyed peas were one of our favorites. They remind us of boiled peanuts.

    Happy 2013 to you and Meakin ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

    ReplyDelete
  3. A beautiful soup! Black eyed peas are so scrumptious.

    Best wishes for the New Year!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  4. THis looks really good for the cold nights we're having... I've never tried making anything with Black eyed peas!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That dish looks perfect for a cold night. It has been very windy here and very cold! We used to go out to dinner and then a night club when we were much younger. Now we stay home, usually just the two of us and talk about the year to come. Happy New Year Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love soups like this..I can only think of la Galette Des Rois for January 6th as a tradition:)

    Home alone w/ J.. early to bed..how much fun are we? Our favorite thing to do the last few years..
    I never liked NYE parties with a whole crowd..OY when midnight came around..and you were offered kisses and wishes from people who didn't know you and that you would never see again..it felt hollow~
    One of our daughters had a party quite a few yrs in a row and that was fun..close family and friends..

    But now they do it one week later and we babysit Noah:)

    Suits me fine..
    We had so much snow Sam..more than 18 inches!Your soup would be wonderful for lunch!
    Happy New Year to you and Meakin:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. We will be having black eyed peas too. Not sure of the variation because I'm on pork and cornbread duty. We get together every year with the same group of friends and everybody has their specialty. David is making collard greens. Happy New Year Sam and Meakin.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Italians cook lentils... funny still a bean but a very far away place from the US South. Happy New Years Sam.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We don't go out on New Year's Eve either. Restaurants are packed and there are too many drivers who celebrate more than they should. I would love to have a bowl of your black eyed peas on New Year's Eve, Sam, and if it should bring me some good luck in 2013 all the better. Have a very happy holiday.

    ReplyDelete
  10. this recipe sounds very tasty we will have our beans, cornbread and coleslaw on new years day as well only meal for the start of a new year Happy New Year to you as well
    feel welcome to come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I heard and read about black-eyed peas bringing luck; your soup looks wonderful and I am really wanted to try that southern caviar. We have always preferred to stay home and greet the New Year chez nous. Wishing you a great 2013 Sam.
    Rita

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a perfect soup for celebrating the new year, Sam. It looks wholesome!
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Our wedding anniversary is New Year's Day. I'm thinking that it's time I jump on this traditional dinner, and serve this for lunch. Then, we'll head off to dinner at a swanky place and celebrate!
    Happy New Year, Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just picked up a bag of black-eyed peas yesterday on my way to work (I was afraid they'd sell out:@) I love soup and think this is the one I'll make on New Year's Day, with cornbread of course! Thanks for a great recipe and the shout-out Sam! Happy New Year to you as well-enjoy the party and fireworks:@)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Growing up in the northeast, I somehow cannot equate black-eyed peas and caviar. In fact, although I've only had them a few times and I was never left longing for the next bowl, though your recipe has all the ingredients of a really good soup. I must try those little buggers again in the new year.

    Best wishes to you in 2013. I love my visits to your Carolina Kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This looks delicious. I made steamed Chinese dumplings for New Years one year. That was REALLY a lot of work.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I can use all the luck I can get! Bring on the black eyed peas! Happy New Year, Sam! Hope 2013 is full of good things!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yum! We have the traditional collard greens and Hoppin' John on New Year's Day -- New Year's Eve is extremely low key -- we have the bubbly chilling but have been known to celebrate early (it's New Year's somewhere) in favor of a good night's sleep.

    Happy New Year to you and Meakin!~

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello Sam

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year. Your dish of black eyed peas looks delicious.. We celebrate at our friend's beach cottage and a bluegrass band will entertain us.

    Thanks for your interesting blog and looking forward to learning recipes in 2013.

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  20. Never too late to send New Year wishes. Nice post.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your soup is so colorful and pretty! We aren't big NYE celebraters but we will be bringing in the new year this year with our children. Looking forward to it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. So delicious and comforting..and it brings some color to our grey days here. It will be great on one of these cold evenings with a great DVD...
    hope you are having a good fesitive season..
    bises
    Ronelle

    ReplyDelete
  23. That looks fabulous! What a great change from the traditional black eyed peas I usually make, I will definetely be making this this year!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a wonderful meal for a cold, winter night - at least here it is :) I think I'd rather eat this than real caviar any day!

    Happy New Year, Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Perfect dish for the celebration...looks fabulous!
    Wish you and all your loved ones A Very Happy New Year 2013!:)

    ReplyDelete
  26. This looks so perfect for the gray and chilly day we are having right now, Sam! I love all kinds of bean soups. The Italians like to eat lentils on New Year's Day for good luck. :)

    I hope you had a beautiful Christmas, and that 2013 will bring you more joys and blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your soup sounds delicious Sam - perfect for a cold day. We'll just have a quiet evening, drink a little bubbly and I'll hit the hay about 10pm - I pretend I'm in Brazil.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It was always black-eyed peas at our house on New Year's Day, so I've followed my mom's que and have them every year also. I've been serving black-eyed peas, collard greens and bacon. I might have to switch it up this year. This soup sounds wonderful. I love the addition of Worcestershire sauce. Happy New Year to you and Meakin.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Best looking bowl of black eyed peas I have ever seen! Simply gorgeous, great photo!

    We used to "black tie" New Years Eve in Florida but since moving to TN, we stay at home. Here's wishing you and Meakin a fantabulous 2013!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This sounds delicious and it's pretty too. Tradition in these parts is pork roast and sauerkraut for New Years Day. We don't go to restaurants any more for New Year's Eve; stay home and off the roads and away from the police roadblocks. Happy New Year to you and Meakin!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Interesting! we have never put tomato in our beans! Always the garlic, onions, scallions, green peppers and mushrooms. It's always better the next day too!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sam, This soup looks amazing. I will have to try it New Years Day. We have to have our black eyed peas for luck. Happy New Year! XO, Mona

    ReplyDelete
  33. Happy New Year Sam! Wishing you and your family a fabulous 2013.
    It has been only the last few years that I have discovered black eye peas (sad, I know). Until I moved to North Florida, I had no idea that folks ate it to ring in the New Year. Yours looks delicious but, I would not have expected less.

    Cheers.
    Velva

    ReplyDelete
  34. We never let a New Year's Day go by without a bowl of black-eyed pea soup. My husband makes a delicious recipe that his father used to make.
    Happy New Year.......Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have my black eyed peas...would never skip starting the year without them. When we were staying at a hotel in Santo Domingo, I went to a market, bought to bag of peas and gave them to the chef at the restaurant in the hotel. I asked him if he would cook them for everyone in his kitchen to luck and serve a bowl to us. You need all the luck you can get. I hope you and Meakin have a wonderful New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  36. A beautiful bowl of soup. Wishing you all the best in the new year!

    Enjoy your evening by the pool house. Hopefully the weather down in FL is a bit warmer than it is here. Here in KY we are in the twenties, but the snow is beautiful and the kids are really enjoying it. We plan on staying at home, but we are having some friends over. Champagne is a must!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I am so glad I stopped by because I know now what I will be serving on New Year's. This soup looks fabulous, need to make a run to the grocery and I will carry your recipe with me. I also noticed for the first time a pic of Carmine's. I LOVE that shop and always stop in there when in Palm Beach. Wishing you a Happy New Year.

    Carolyn/A Southerner's Notebook

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hmmm...never had that but it looks good!

    Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    Happy New Year!

    - The Tablescaper

    ReplyDelete
  39. This is perfect. Italians love lentils for the New Year and this is a worthy addition. It is so welcoming. Happy New Year. May it bring all good things!

    ReplyDelete
  40. We are from the south too, so I know about having black eyed peas on New Year's. My Dad used to ask for them every year, not for superstition but because they were a tradition. Mom and I tend to take a break from cooking for a while after the big Christmas meal, so we got out of the habit of making them. Your soup looks so good I kind of wish we had made them this year. Thanks for sharing your recipe so I can make this soup some other time. Happy new Year!

    ReplyDelete
  41. What a hearty looking dish. Happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Sam,
    Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes with Full Plate Thursday in 2012. Wishing you and your family the very best in 2013.
    Happy New Year!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
  43. My black eyed peas are soaking, waiting for the rest of the ingredients. Thanks for your recipe. It will be much enjoyed at our house.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I don't think I've ever seen a prettier photo of a soup, Sam! I know black eyed peas are traditional in the south and loved seeing them in your wonderful, comforting soup. We're having them for supper tonight.
    Wishing you and yours a most Happy, Healthy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Your soup sounds so good!! Here in my part of Kentucky we have Blackeye peas, cooked cabbage,
    hog jowl (fried like bacon) and cornbread for
    health and wealth in the new year!!
    Have a very blessed new year!!!

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hey Sam... Happy New Year! and looks delicious. Hope all is well, been awhile since I visited and I am sorry for missing so many of your posts. Time and the size of my blogger buddy list just got too much for me. So, one of my New Years resolutions is to simplify. Will be back whenever you pop up with fresh posts. And will be putting Larry;s annual party o n our must do list. So hope to visit in person again soon

    Dave and Jackie!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Oh this soup looks amazing!! I love the idea of eating beans for good luck - especially in a soup like this! Happy New Year!
    Mary x

    ReplyDelete
  48. I’ll copy your black eyed pea soup and make it for sure. Since I moved to the Deep South I’ve tried to make hoppin’ John for New Year – every year it gets better. Now I don’t know how traditional mine is but my family likes it a lot. I never had black eyed peas in France – don’t know if they are available. We came back home from Tennessee for New Year and did not do much. I cooked hoppin’ john twice, once in Nashville and once here – but still like it. Hope you have a great 2013 and I look forward to more of your excellent cooking.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Congratulations Sam!
    Enjoy your new Red Plate, your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Have a great day and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas served and enjoyed on New Year's Day, and I definitely love Southern caviar! Did you publish Southern Caviar before? It made me a believer in black-eyed peas! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy reading each and every comment. If you leave a comment with a question or that requires an answer, please leave an address or way for me to get in touch with you. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam