Lucky! Black-Eyed Peas

For New Year's, adopt the traditional foods of the American South, black-eyed peas to deliver good fortune in the new year. Two recipes ideas: the first is a quick black-eyed pea salad that's packed with vegetables and fresh herbs, delivering 'good health' along with good fortune; the second is a body-warming black-eyed pea soup, quick to make and packed with greens and nutrients. Happy New Year to All!

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Black-eyed peas harbor so many aliases, one must suspect a crooked past. Try cowpea, China bean, crowder pea, asparagus bean, field pea, long bean, red pea, southern pea, yard-long bean. (Whew, take a breath.)

And then there’s oea bean, marble bean, black-eyed suzie, "little nun" mogette, bodi bean, snake bean, boonchi, chain gang pea, cow gram, Tonkin pea, bung belly, cream pea, Jerusalem pea, zupper, whippoorwill pea. And lobbia. And dauguk.

But by tradition in the American South, ever-so-virtuous black-eyed peas are eaten on New Year’s Day – for luck! – and with some green – for good fortune!

Kitchen Parade readers, my wish for you in 2006 is luck and fortune as bountiful (and amusing) as the many names accorded the ever-so-simple, ever-so-humble, black-eyed pea.

For extra good luck in the new year, cook an extra 8 ounces of dried peas for this quick LUCKY BLACK-EYED PEA SOUP: Sauté onion, garlic and fresh ginger in some oil, then stir in a teaspoon of Chinese five-spice powder, a couple of tablespoons of sherry and a tablespoon each of soy sauce and honey. Add 6 cups (49 ounces) of hot chicken broth and a ham hock and bring to a boil. Then stir in the precooked beans and some fresh spinach or kale. Season to taste and serve!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite New Year's recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time-to-table: 90 minutes
Makes 6 cups
  • 8 ounces (1-1/2 cups) dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked over
  • Water to cover plus 2 inches
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1 red onion, minced fine
  • 5 ribs celery, minced fine
  • 1 bunch parsley, minced fine (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh dill, minced fine (about 1/2 cup)

In a large saucepan, combine the beans, water and salt and bring to a boil on medium high. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer until beans are cooked, about 30 minutes (but some times longer, depending on the moisture in the beans). Drain and return to the saucepan.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasoning. (Warm beans will more easily soak up the flavorful vinegar and oil.) Stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or cold.

ALANNA's TIPS Unlike other dried peas, black-eyed peas need not be soaked overnight but will cook more quickly if they are.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad? How many Weight Watchers points in Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad?) Per half cup: 69 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 15g Carb; 6g Fiber; 13mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point This recipe has been ‘Alanna-sized’ with reductions in fat and carbs and increases in low-calorie flavorings and fiber-rich vegetables.

More Recipes for New Year's

~ more New Year's recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

traditional 'greens' to bring financial success in the New Year
~ New Year's Turnip Greens ~
~ Braised Collard Greens ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

More Fresh Make-Ahead Salad Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Quinoa & Black Bean Salad Wild Rice Salad Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs

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~ Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Soup ~

© Copyright 2005 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Oh dear, we are channeling each other again. I am doing black eyed peas (hoppin' John) for Weekend Herb Blogging, to be posted tomorrow. Your soup does sound good. One of my resolutions is to try more new veggies that I haven't cooked before, so yesterday I bought some bok choy. I thought to myself, "Alanna would be proud of me." So I will be visiting your great recipe index even more often.



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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna