Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup

Quincy L. Cheek, Bollich, Patricia A.  |  1/21/2015 3:44:00 AM

Serves 6-8

2 cups dried black-eyed peas
2 Tablespoons of canola oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into a ¼-inch dice
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 smoked ham hock (optional)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
 2 bay leaves
1 bunch (about ¾ pound) collard greens, ribs removed and thinly sliced
½ pound ham, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
Hot Sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover by 3 inches with cold water. Set aside for 8 hours or overnight; drain and rinse well.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and celery and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots, peas, broth, ham hock, thyme, bay leaves, and collards and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until the peas and vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaves and ham hock. Pull any meat from the hock and chop into bite-size pieces and return to the pot. For a slightly thicker and creamier soup, smash a few peas against the side of the pot. Add the diced ham and heat just until warmed through. Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
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