There is enough debate about black-eyed peas that there’s actually an article about them on the Library of Congress website.
It starts out very simply, asking, “Are black-eyed peas really peas?”
The answer is simple: “No.”
The article then goes into a very technical, scientific explanation of how peas, beans and legumes are classified and named. It’s great reading if you want to take a nap.
But I suppose no matter what their official classification, their presence in our house every New Year’s Day is a constant, as they are supposed to create good luck in the coming year.
Obviously, with all the craziness over the past year, I must have not cooked them quite right in 2021, so I’m hoping this year’s recipe was a better one.
I decided to go with a spicy version of black-eyed peas this year, mostly because I had some jalapeno peppers languishing in my crisper drawer already. You can leave those out and just add another bell pepper and cut out the cayenne if you want to try this recipe and you’re not much of a spice person, but if you like a little heat, you’re really going to like this one.
This recipe from Trisha Haas comes from the blog “Salty Side Dish.” You can find the original post at https://www.saltysidedish.com/slow-cooker-black-eyed-peas/. I added extra spices in my version.
Crockpot Spicy Black-Eyed Peas
- 16 ounces dry black-eyed peas
- 3 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bell pepper diced (any color)
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers diced (remove the seeds for less kick)
- 1 cup ham chopped
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the beef bouillon cubes to about 1 cup of hot water. Smash the cubes before adding them to a large crockpot along with five more cups of water, and then add all of the rest of the ingredients, as well. You do not have to do anything to prep the peas. Just dump them in.
- Give the mixture a good stir and then cook on high for six hours or until the peas are cooked through.
- This is fantastic served with fresh cornbread.
The photos on the recipe’s website show a mushier-looking soup without a lot of broth. I had a decent amount of broth with mine, so it’s really more about what you prefer with yours if you let it cook down even longer to really get the liquid thinned out. Personally, I love having broth with soups like this so I have something to soak up with my cornbread.
This was so, so easy, since it was as simple as just dumping everything in the crockpot. It literally took no cooking skills whatsoever, which I appreciate sometimes.
Now, with our bellies warmed, supposedly Joey and I are covered for 2022 and all the luck life can bring us. I’m not sure if it worked, but I have some leftovers in my freezer just in case we need a boost in the coming weeks.
This piece first appeared in print on Jan. 13, 2022.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.