Take the Chill off with Black Eyed Pea Stew

ImageHard to believe that September has passed and we’re into the first week of October. The corn stalks have turned a dark tan, which means it’s time to cut them down for bundling. Corn stalks make a nice autumn display. We prop them up behind the straw bales alongside the outhouse. The little ones put pumpkins, squash and gourds on top of the bales and that’s our decorating effort for fall. I’m hoping Mother Nature’s creatures don’t take bites out of the pumpkins and squash like they did last year. 

I’m also harvesting late planted kale and spinach. One of those will go into this yummy black eyed pea stew.

Some of you have told me you make your own version of this stew. That’s what makes this column special to me. You take a recipe from me, tweak it to make it your own. So what I’ve done here is incorporate some of your suggestions, adapting the stew to make it a true Community kitchen recipe. 

So good black eyed pea stew

I have fond memories of this stew which I first ate at daughter-in-law Jessie’s house. I distinctly remember the tantalizing aroma that wafted out as I opened her kitchen door. 


2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked and drained or 5-6 cups frozen black eyed peas, thawed 

Olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1/2 to 1 pound skinless Kielbasa or turkey sausage, sliced 

Up to 8 cups low sodium, low fat chicken or vegetable broth 

Salt and pepper to taste

2 bay leaves

Crushed red pepper flakes to taste – start with 1/4 teaspoon (optional but good)

1 nice clove garlic, minced

28 oz can diced tomatoes

Splash cider vinegar, to taste

Kale or spinach

Red wine or cider vinegar for passing (opt but good)


Film bottom of soup pot with olive oil. Add onion and sausage; cook until onion is a bit soft and sausage browns. 

Stir in 5 cups broth; bring to a simmer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. 

Stir in peas, salt, peppers, garlic and bay leaves. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. If necessary, add more broth, starting with 1 cup. 

Uncover, add tomatoes and cook 20 minutes or until liquid begins to thicken and peas are tender. (One reader smooshed the beans down a bit with a potato masher).

Stir in cider vinegar and greens; simmer 10 minutes, remove bay leaves and serve. Pass the red wine vinegar!


  • Soup freezes well.

Black eyed peas: good for you

  • Low in fat, sodium and cholesterol free, 1/2 cup of cooked black eyed peas provide more than 20% of the daily recommended amount of fiber.

Kale vs spinach

  • Kale is a member of the mustard family, and has a stronger flavor than spinach. This soup is a good candidate for kale. Not a kale fan? Spinach, or even Swiss chard, is a good sub.
1. Place peas in a pot and cover with water at least 3 inches above the peas.
2. Drain and cook as recipe indicates.
(To use peas the same day):
1. Place peas in a pot and cover with water at least 3 inches above the peas.
2. Bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the peas soak in the water for about an hour. The peas are now ready to use in recipes that call for cooked or canned peas.

4 thoughts on “Take the Chill off with Black Eyed Pea Stew

  1. What A great stew your black eyed peas is.Just finished making your receipe. Can’t wait to try it tonight. Thank you Rita’s family


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.