Blackeye Peas for New Years Day

It's a tradition in our family, and I think in a lot of families with Southern roots, to make Blackeye Peas on New Years Day - for good luck all year long.  My Grandmother made this, and so do both my parents.

There are so many different ways to do this, but this year I went for a fairly straightforward preparation - much like you'd make any other kind of bean soup.

It's good old fashioned comfort food - it warms my soul on a winter day, and makes me think of all the people who have made this before me, and makes me proud to share this with my children. 

Serve it with cornbread - this cornbread if you care to make your own from scratch (it's worth it).


  • 2 pounds of dry blackeye peas - rinsed
  •  3 quarts of liquid (12 cups) - this time I did 2 quarts (8 cups) chicken broth and 1 quart (4 cups) of water
  • Pork: usually a ham hock or the bone leftover from that Christmas ham.  Or even just some diced bacon will do.  This time I had a smoked pork shank. 
  • carrots - about 4 or 5 medium ones - diced
  • 2 onions - diced
  • 3 stalks of celery - diced
  • a couple bay leaves

I decided to try something a little different and actually brown and render the pork shanks a bit - I cut some of the meat and fat off into chunks and just let it all sweat and brown over low heat for a while.

Then I added the diced onions, celery and carrots and cook with the pork until they are starting to get soft.  Add in the broth and water, the bay leaves and the dry beans and simmer away.

I don't bother with soaking dry beans before cooking them, I've never found that it makes a noticeable difference.  What I do try to do however when making something like this is to make it a day ahead, let it simmer most of a day, then rest overnight, and reheat the next day.  The beans and veggies get soft and absorb flavor, the ham is falling apart, and all the flavors blend together. 


Lisa Marsh

Mom to two sets of twins.

Print Friendly and PDF