Black Eyed Pea And Ham Soup – A Fulfilling Meal

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Indulge in the heartwarming goodness of Black Eyed Pea and Ham Soup, a rustic and robust dish that’s sure to satisfy. Tender black-eyed peas and savory chunks of ham are simmered to perfection, creating a rich and flavorful broth. Each bite is a comforting embrace, with hints of aromatic herbs and spices dancing on your palate. This soul-soothing soup is a tribute to home-cooked perfection, promising a deliciously hearty experience in every spoonful.

Savor the allure of timeless Southern charm with our Black Eyed Pea and Ham Soup. This culinary gem, steeped in tradition, is an exquisite blend of humble ingredients elevated to gastronomic heights.

Succulent morsels of ham meet their match in the earthy, wholesome black-eyed peas, forging a symphony of flavors that captivate the palate. 

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A warm, aromatic broth enriched with tender vegetables and vibrant spices brings their dance to life. Discover this soulful delight, perfect for chilly days or cozy nights; it’s more than a meal; it’s an experience. This soup, rooted in age-old family recipes, is nutritionally rich and woven with cultural narratives. 

Embrace the South’s nostalgia, comfort, and flavors with our Black Eyed Pea and Ham Soup – a heartwarming, tasty journey that transcends the boundaries of a regular soup bowl.

What Is Black Eyed Pea And Ham Soup?

Black Eyed Pea and Ham Soup is a nourishing, flavorful dish steeped in Southern tradition. It stars hearty black-eyed peas, savory chunks of ham, and a medley of aromatic vegetables and spices simmered to perfection.

This soup is revered for its soul-warming properties and rich, earthy flavors, making it a comfort food favorite. 

Its simplicity belies its depth of flavor and nutritional value, creating a culinary experience that is both satisfying and healthful. This soup is a timeless classic testament to Southern comfort cuisine.

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Can You Vary Black Eyed Pea And Ham Soup With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto & Paleo Since this soup is inherently low-carb, it is already keto and paleo-friendly. Ensure your ham and broth are free of added sugars or non-compliant ingredients. You could also add more low-carb vegetables like zucchini or bell peppers.
  • Gluten-Free This soup is naturally gluten-free as long as your broth and ham are certified gluten-free. Always check the labels.
  • Whole30 For Whole30, ensure the ham, broth, and any added ingredients are free from sugars, grains, legumes, and dairy. Consider adding extra vegetables.
  • Vegetarian Omit the ham and use vegetable broth. You should add smoked paprika for a smoky flavor that the ham usually provides.
  • Vegan Follow the vegetarian suggestions and ensure any store-bought broth is vegetarian and vegan. Add hearty vegetables like sweet potatoes or squash to make it more filling.
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Recipe Directions

  1. Start by soaking black-eyed peas overnight, then rinse and drain them thoroughly. 
  2. In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté aromatic onions and garlic until they become fragrant and golden. 
  3. Pour in flavorful broth, bringing it to a gentle boil. 
  4. Add the prepared black-eyed peas and let them simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they reach a tender and creamy consistency. 
  5. To elevate the taste, stir in succulent pieces of ham and fresh thyme, infusing the dish with smoky and herbal notes. 
  6. Simmer the flavorful mixture for an additional 10 minutes to allow the ingredients to meld perfectly. 
  7. Season the dish with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, enhancing the flavors without overpowering the natural taste of the peas. 
  8. Serve this comforting and hearty black-eyed pea soup hot
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Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Vegan Version: Swap ham for smoked tofu and use vegetable broth.
  • Spicy Twist: Add a diced jalapeño or a dash of cayenne pepper for a kick.
  • Heartier Soup: Include diced sweet potatoes or winter squash for additional heartiness.


  • Greens: Stir in collard greens or kale for an extra nutritional punch.
  • Grains: Add cooked barley or brown rice to thicken the soup and make it more filling.
  • Beans: Mix in other beans, like cannellini or kidney beans, for added texture and flavor.


  • Herbs: Sprinkle fresh parsley or cilantro for a refreshing contrast.
  • Heat: Top with hot sauce or red pepper flakes for extra spice.
  • Crunch: Add croutons or crispy bacon bits for a satisfying crunch.
  • Creaminess: Swirl in a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt for a creamy finish.
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Can I Make Black Eyed Pea And Ham Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker Method

  • Rinse and soak black-eyed peas overnight.
  • Sauté the onion and garlic in a pan until fragrant, then transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Add the soaked peas, diced ham, chicken or vegetable broth, and dried thyme to the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the peas are tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Instant Pot Method

  • Use the sauté function on the Instant Pot to cook the onion and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add the rinsed (but not soaked) black-eyed peas, diced ham, chicken or vegetable broth, and dried thyme to the pot.
  • Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual pressure for 15-20 minutes. Allow natural pressure release.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
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Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can use store-bought broth for Black Eyed Pea and Ham Soup, and it’s a great option when you’re short on time. Just ensure you opt for a high-quality, low-sodium version to control the overall salt content in the soup.

That being said, homemade broth can elevate the soup’s flavor to another level. You could make a delicious ham broth if you have leftover ham bones. If not, a homemade chicken or vegetable broth would work as well.

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How To Serve?

  • Bread: This soup pairs beautifully with crusty bread or a warm biscuit for dunking. Cornbread is a traditional option that complements the flavors nicely.
  • Toppings: Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs like chopped parsley, chives, or cilantro. A sour cream dollop or shredded cheese sprinkle can add creaminess. For some heat, add a dash of hot sauce or sliced jalapenos.
  • Side Salad: A light, crisp salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty soup. A simple green salad or a tangy slaw would work well.
  • Grains: For an even heartier meal, serve the soup over cooked rice or quinoa.
  • Veggies: Roasted or steamed vegetables on the side can round out the meal and add a variety of textures.
  • Wine Pairing: If you enjoy wine, a light-bodied, high-acid white like Sauvignon Blanc or a fruity, medium-bodied red like Pinot Noir could pair nicely.
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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Cornbread: This classic southern dish pairs perfectly with Black Eyed Pea and Ham Soup, adding a slightly sweet, grainy contrast to the savory soup.
  • Crisp Green Salad: A simple salad with a tangy vinaigrette can provide a refreshing, crisp counterpoint to the hearty soup.
  • Grilled or Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal veggies grilled or roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper can complement the flavors in the soup.
  • Crusty Bread: A slice of crusty bread or a warm baguette is perfect for dipping into the rich broth.
  • Pickles or Chutney: Something tangy or slightly sweet can offset the savory soup wonderfully. Consider bread and butter pickles, pickled okra, or a spicy fruit chutney.
  • Sauteed Greens: Collard greens, mustard greens, or kale sautéed with garlic make a nutritious and flavorful side.
  • Coleslaw: A tangy and crunchy coleslaw can provide a nice contrast to the hearty and smooth texture of the soup.
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Storage And Make Ahead

  • Make-Ahead: Cook the soup without adding any ingredients that are best fresh, such as fresh herbs or greens. This base can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months, making it a perfect make-ahead meal.
  • Storage: Store in airtight containers to keep the soup fresh and prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Freezing: Portion the soup into freezer-safe containers, leaving some space for expansion. This makes it easy to thaw only what you need for future meals.
  • Reheating: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. If the soup has thickened too much upon storage, add a little water or broth when reheating to adjust consistency.
  • Adding Freshness: After reheating, add fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the flavors. If you’ve reserved any fresh ingredients, add them now to ensure they’re at their best.
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What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Grain Bowls: Use the soup as a flavorful topping for a bowl of cooked quinoa, rice, or barley. Add some sautéed vegetables for a balanced, hearty meal.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers and fill them with the soup, top with a sprinkle of cheese and bake until the peppers are tender and the cheese is bubbly.
  • Pasta Sauce: Blend the soup until smooth and serve it over pasta for a unique twist on traditional sauce.
  • Shepherd’s Pie: Use the soup as the filling in a Shepherd’s Pie, topping it with mashed potatoes and baking until golden.
  • Enchilada Filling: Roll the soup in tortillas, top with enchilada sauce and cheese, and bake for a comforting casserole.
  • Pot Pie: Combine the soup with mixed vegetables and top with a pie crust or biscuit dough for a hearty pot pie.


  • Soak Black Eyed Peas: If you’re using dried black eyed peas, soak them overnight to reduce cooking time and make them easier to digest. Alternatively, use a quick soak method by boiling them for a few minutes and then letting them sit for an hour.
  • Use a Ham Bone: If available, cook the soup with a ham bone for added flavor. The bone can be removed before serving, but the meat and marrow that cook off add depth to the broth.
  • Sauté Aromatics: Begin by sautéing onions, celery, and carrots in olive oil or the fat rendered from the ham. This creates a flavorful base for your soup.
  • Deglaze the Pot: After sautéing the vegetables and browning any ham pieces, deglaze the pot with a little broth or water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. These bits are packed with flavor.
  • Season Wisely: Black eyed peas and ham both bring their own flavors, so go easy on the salt in the beginning. Adjust the seasoning after the peas have cooked since the ham and broth will contribute to the soup’s overall saltiness.
  • Add Herbs and Spices: Bay leaves, thyme, and black pepper are great with this soup. Add them early in the cooking process to allow their flavors to meld with the peas and ham.
  • Simmer Gently: Allow the soup to simmer gently rather than boiling vigorously. This prevents the peas from breaking apart and keeps the ham from becoming tough.
Black Eyed Pea And Ham Soup - A Fulfilling Meal

Black Eyed Pea And Ham Soup – A Fulfilling Meal

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Course: Soup Recipes


Prep time


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This robust, comforting soup blends the hearty flavors of black-eyed peas and ham with a savory broth. It’s versatile and easily adaptable to different diets or ingredient preferences.


  • 2 cups 2 Dried Black-Eyed Peas

  • 1 chopped 1 Onion

  • 3 cloves 3 Garlic

  • 4 cups 4 Chicken or Vegetable Broth

  • 2 cups 2 Diced Ham

  • 2 tbsp 2 Olive Oil

  • 1 tsp 1 Dried Thyme

  • Salt (To taste)

  • Pepper (To taste)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Begin by rinsing the black-eyed peas, then soak them overnight in a large pot of water.
  • After soaking, drain and rinse the peas thoroughly to remove any lingering dirt or grit.
  • Next, heat the olive oil in the same pot over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is heated, add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pot.
  • Sauté these ingredients until they release their fragrant aroma. This usually takes around 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour the chicken or vegetable broth into the pot with the sautéed onion and garlic.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • After achieving a boil, add the soaked, rinsed black-eyed peas to the pot.
  • Lower the heat to a simmer, allowing the peas to cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until they become tender.
  • Once the peas are tender, stir in the diced ham and dried thyme.
  • Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes to meld the flavors together.
  • Season your soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Finally, ladle the hot soup into bowls, ensuring each serving gets a good mix of peas, ham, and broth.
  • Serve the soup hot, straight from the stove. Consider offering hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes on the side for an added kick.
  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven
  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Wooden Spoon or Ladle
  • Strainer
  • Blender or Immersion Blender


  • The soup’s flavor improves daily, making it perfect for meal prep or leftovers. 
  • Freezes well for longer storage. 
  • Great served with a slice of crusty bread or a side salad.

Nutrition Table 

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