This past Saturday I was at the grocery store. As I walked the aisles it occurred to me I didn’t have a lunch plan. Coincidentally I had just been paging through The Southern Foodie, a fun new book by Chris Chamberlain. The book’s subtitle is a mouthful but perfectly descriptive: 100 Places to Eat in the South Before You Die (And the Recipes That Made Them Famous).
And that is how Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup came to be on my lunch menu. The recipe was simple and appealing, and I had all but two of the ingredients in my pantry already. The two I didn’t have—black-eyed peas and collards—I easily remembered and tossed into my basket. Just an hour later I was back home, serving up this healthy, satisfying soup for lunch.
I did make a couple of changes in the recipe. Chamberlain used water instead of broth, garnishing at the end with optional country ham. I started making the soup as instructed, sautéing onions and garlic, and then simmering the collards, black-eyed peas, and tomatoes in water. But even with salting and peppering the soup tasted flat.
I quickly shifted gears. In a separate pot, I sautéed my prosciutto garnish (much easier to find in the Northeast than country ham) and added it to the simmering soup early on. Just two ounces of pork brought this soup to life.
It was a good reminder for me that meatless is good, but sometimes all it takes is a little meat to transform a dish. We typically try to promote meatless on Mondays, but today we demonstrate how just a little good meat goes such a long way.
- 1 bunch (1 pound) collard greens, stemmed, washed, and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
- 1 large onion, cut into medium dice
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) black-eyed peas, drained
- 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Bring 6 cups of salted water to boil in a large saucepan. Add collard greens and simmer to partially cook, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large soup kettle. Add prosciutto, sauté until almost crisp, just a couple of minutes. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
- Add collard greens and the cooking liquid, peas, and tomatoes; bring to a simmer, generously seasoning with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until collards are just tender and flavors have blended, about 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings, including additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve!
Alice in LA says
I have a guest from Australia right now and he just said yesterday that one of the things he misses about the states is collard greens! He’s coming for dinner tomorrow. Will it hold up overnight? I’m sure it will… Of course, we are back to sweltering heat and high humidity, so maybe hot soup isn’t the way to go. 🙂
I loved this soup from the moment I saw the recipe in The Southern Foodie. While I love the original, tonight I adapted the recipe to use swiss chard, white beans, and a bit of salami I had. It all came together in about 15 minutes. Easy supper, happy husband. Served with bread, butter, cheese and a salad. Thanks for the recipe, Mom!
What a great combination!! I can hardly wait to try this. 🙂
Sue G. says
I made this tonight, along with the carnitas pork recipe from your Perfect Recipes book. So delicious! I used dried black-eyed peas, ham from a real Spanish serrano that we got for Christmas, and tomatoes from my garden that I roasted and had in the freezer. We are going to eat so well all week! Thank you for your excellent recipes! I use many of them all the time (my kids ask for your banana muffins over any others).
I just made this for lunch with a few changes. I used chicken broth instead of water, and then added pepper sauce and crushed red pepper for a bit of heat. It is so good!
I made this tonight. With my left over collards and rutebagas, as well as some frozen sauted carrots, mushrooms and onions I had saved to put in a pot roast. My colIards were cooked with hamhawks, so that had some meat left over. I added some smoked sausage for a little extra jazz. It was Delicious!