Black-Eyed Peas

If you're in the southern United States for New Years day you'll most likely hear locals talking about black-eyed peas.  According to southern folklore, one must eat black-eyed peas on New Years day for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead.   Each year we follow tradition and prepare our black-eyed peas.  We also prepare another traditional New Years day dish, corned beef and cabbage.  It is thought by many that corned beef and cabbage on New Years day is an Irish tradition, while many believe it originated in New Orleans.  Either way, it is a delicious way to start the year.  

In the past few years we've used fresh black-eyed peas with delicious results.  Look for fresh black-eyed peas in the produce section of your grocery store.  

The black-eyed peas will absorb the broth as they continue to simmer.  Periodically add more broth.  

Black-Eyed Peas

Servings: 12-14

3 Tablespoons olive oil

3 cups onions, diced

1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and diced

1 cup celery, sliced

1 cup bell pepper, diced (any color bell pepper)

2 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons garlic, minced

1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into bite size pieces

3 - 48 oz. containers chicken broth

3 - 10 oz. containers of fresh black-eyed peas

2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 cup green onions, chopped

1. In a large pot heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper and bay leaves and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté for one minute.  Add sausage and sauté for 5 minutes.  

2. Add 6 cups (48 oz) of chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and add the black-eyed peas.  Return to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let black-eye peas simmer, 60 minutes. .  

3. Add 4 cups of chicken broth, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Continue to simmer and let black-eye peas simmer for 45 minutes.

4.  Add 4 cups of broth and continue to simmer, letting the peas become creamier, about 30 minutes.  If needed, add the last 4 cups of broth and continue to simmer. The black-eyed peas are ready to serve when the broth is creamy and the peas are tender and creamy. Add green onions and serve.