This collards and black-eyed peas soup is spicy, smoky, vegan, and low-fat. Make it quickly in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker!
I’ve had a package of pre-washed, pre-chopped collard greens in the fridge for a few days, and I was hoping to do something different with them. But as time went on and no new recipes came to mind, I started to get afraid that they’d go bad; at the very least, they were losing nutrients every day that they sat there (everything’s always more nutritious closer to harvest.)
So in the end, I took an old favorite soup, Lorna Sass’ Collards and Black-eyed Pea Soup, and gave it the Louisiana treatment: green bell peppers, diced tomatoes, creole-type seasonings, and loads of spiciness.
And since I love smokiness, I kind of went wild with three different smoky seasonings–chipotle powder, fire-roasted tomatoes, and smoked paprika–and my husband and I loved the results. I know that not everyone is the smoke addict that I am, so if you like spicy but not smoky, just substitute regular chili powder, regular diced tomatoes, and regular paprika.
If you’re making this for New Year’s Day, note that it covers both of the “lucky traditions”: black-eyed peas and greens. It’s a one-pot healthy start to the new year!
Spicy Collards and Black-eyed Pea Soup
- 2 onions diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups dried black-eyed peas picked over and rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 1 pound collard greens tough stems removed and greens chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (divided)
- 1 teaspoon oregano (divided)
- 1 16- ounce can tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 -2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon double strength tomato paste (or 2 tbsp. regular)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- additional water (or vegetable broth), as needed
Pressure Cooker Instructions
- Heat a pressure cooker or turn on the Saute setting on the Instant Pot and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
- Add the black-eyed peas, water, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano. Seal the cooker and cook for 10 minutes after it reaches high pressure (set the Instant Pot for 10 minutes at high pressure. Use a quick-release method to bring down the pressure.
- Check the beans, and if they are not tender, return the pot to pressure. If they were very hard, cook at high pressure for 5 minutes; if they were just slightly hard, cook at high pressure for 2 minutes. Allow the pressure to come down naturally for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure. Repeat this process if beans are still very hard.
- Once the peas are tender, add the reserved herbs and all remaining ingredients and simmer on low for at least 25 minutes to allow flavors to develop. If the soup is too thick, add up to two cups water or vegetable broth until it's the consistency of soup. (Electric pressure cooker users, use the Sauté setting and adjust the heat to low if possible, or use Keep Warm.) Serve with brown rice with additional hot sauce. (Garnishing with fresh oregano is optional.)
Regular Stove-top Cooking
- Heat a large pot and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
- Add the black-eyed peas, water, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until peas are tender, about 45-55 minutes.
- Once the peas are tender, add the reserved herbs and all remaining ingredients and simmer on low for at least 25 minutes to allow flavors to develop. If the soup is too thick, add up to two cups water or vegetable broth until it's the consistency of soup. Serve with brown rice with additional hot sauce. (Garnishing with fresh oregano is optional.)
Nutritional info is approximate.
FritziJanuary 3, 2014 at 11:54 am
I made this New Years day and it turned out wonderful. I didn’t have a green pepper so I substituted roasted red peppers. Love this recipe! Thank you!
SarahFebruary 9, 2014 at 6:44 pm
I’m having this for dinner, as I’m typing this. It’s so delish!! I’m going to make this all the time! And it was cheap! *happy dance*
Pat BMay 23, 2014 at 9:58 am
Are black eyed peas supposed to be soaked? I do not have a pressure cooker.
Pat BMay 23, 2014 at 10:00 am
Never mind my question about soaking the peas. Someone else already asked so just found the answer. Making this today. Thank you!
Jean HeathDecember 31, 2014 at 9:40 am
Using a pressure cooker – do you have to put it back on for 25 mins in that – seems rather a long time.
Rebecca StantonDecember 6, 2020 at 8:20 am
I just made this recipe last night for dinner and it was so amazingly delicious! I live with my boyfriend who is not a vegan, and he loved it too, and had three bowls!. I did not have any chipotle peppers or fire roast tomatoes, so I used smoked paprika instead, and that gave it the smoky flavor. I also did not have canned tomatoes, so I replaced the can of tomatoes with an equivalent amount of diced fresh tomatoes from my local farmers market. I am so excited I found your site! I will am eating WFPB vegan now for a year and was running out of recipes and getting a bit bored, but now I have so many new exciting recipes to choose from. Thank you!
Rebecca FinchJanuary 7, 2015 at 8:47 am
I made this recipe (black eyed peas with collard greens) yesterday, and it is so good. What a great way to prepare collards! They are not my favorite leafy green, but nutritionally they are at the top of the list, so I have been trying to use them more. Thanks for a simple, delicious recipe.
AlexandraDecember 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm
I made these for New year’s eve potluck, and they were devoured. Very savory and spicy(not too,) and good.
JackieJanuary 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm
Just got through eating this today for good luck throughout the year. What a flavorful dish! This will be on my favorites list for sure. I followed the recipe except that I left out the cayenne pepper and used spinach instead of collards. I think I could have put the cayenne in after all to make it just the right amount of heat for us.
PamJanuary 1, 2016 at 1:40 pm
Thank you so much for reposting this into my Facebook newsfeed in 2016!
ChadAugust 8, 2017 at 7:37 pm
I’m glad I found this recipe. I just cooked it. I made some slight adjustments, added a couple of Serrano chili peppers, and more seasoning. It is tasty. Thanks!
RebeccaNovember 1, 2017 at 9:47 am
Thank you for this recipe. I had an aversion to collards until recently (when I read about their nutritional benefit) so I have been looking for good recipes for them. This fits and I am pretty sure they will disappear rapidly out of the pot. Thanks again for all you do.
SuzanneDecember 31, 2017 at 11:50 am
Question after initial cooking with peas then add collard greens and spices and put back in pressure cooker on low for additional time?
Susan VoisinDecember 31, 2017 at 12:34 pm
Yes. All the details are in the last step.
AtiyahJanuary 1, 2018 at 11:22 am
Thanks for this marvelous recipe -a new twist on the traditional peas and greens!
Valeigh DavisJanuary 1, 2018 at 5:46 pm
OMG! I made this today and this is the absolute best tasting black eyed pea recipe! I don’t particularly like black eyed peas, but I eat them every January 1st. Not being vegan, I used chicken broth instead of water and added kielbasa sausage. I used smoked paprika instead of smoked Spanish paprika. You’ve created a perfect combination of flavors- thanks!!
RachelJanuary 1, 2018 at 8:38 pm
Made this in the Instapot for New Years Day good luck. It was SOOO good! Thank you!
AmyJanuary 21, 2018 at 6:31 pm
Susan, just tried this and it is delicious! Thank you for your consistently high quality recipes.
Tena ValentiFebruary 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm
This was unbelievable delicious! It is a favorite that I will make often.
I made the following changes:
1 onion, instead of 2
diced carrot in place of the bell pepper (because we don’t care for them)
5 cups of water instead of 6 (we like it thicker)
omitted the hot sauce and the spice level was perfect; not too hot.
I served it over some mashed potatoes with cornbread muffins and a small salad.
Wow! What a delicious meal! Thank you!!!!!
MikiMarch 2, 2018 at 5:52 pm
I made this a couple of months ago and froze the leftovers for lunches. I thawed a serving overnight in my fridge and brought it to work for lunch. While I was thoroughly loving it again as I ate it at my desk, a co-worker approached and asked me what smelled so good. This truly is a fabulous recipe!
MikiJanuary 3, 2019 at 7:30 am
What a fabulous recipe, Susan! I just returned to WW and this was my first really excellent, low/no point recipe – one I plan on using more than once throughout the year.
Love your recipes – thanks for all the hard work you do to encourage healthy eating.
Susan VoisinJanuary 3, 2019 at 8:33 am
Thank you! And welcome back to Weight Watchers! I’ve been trying to get Freestyle points on more of my recipes. I have a category for zero point recipes— https://blog.fatfreevegan.com/category/zero-points —and a tag for all recipes that have points calculated— https://blog.fatfreevegan.com/tag/weight-watchers-points. Happy new year!
JeromeJanuary 12, 2020 at 7:56 am
This is the only way I eat collard greens! This recipe is fabulous. I saved it a couple of years ago and I’ve been making it ever since. If someone is looking for a way to get collard greens into your diet without shoveling it down like a shot with a chaser, this is the recipe for you. It’s just as good as the recipes that use ham hocks, somehow. Thank you for helping me to get greens in my diet and move away from meat!
SiobhanJanuary 17, 2020 at 11:23 am
How do I modify this recipe for the crockpot? I refuse to buy another gadget for my small kitchen. I don’t have a Instant Pot and don’t want one.
Susan VoisinJanuary 17, 2020 at 11:28 am
My best advice is to look for crockpot instruction for dried Blackeyed peas and follow the times and settings given. I’m just not a crockpot cook, so I don’t think I can give you accurate information.
JoanJanuary 22, 2020 at 3:12 pm
I made these black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day and my meat-eating husband and I kept going back for more. Luckily, it made so much I was able to freeze another meal with some lunches. This dish froze beautifully and we had it again last night. Thank you for encouraging healthy eating!
JessicaJanuary 1, 2021 at 8:15 pm
Perfect. Thanks for helping me start my new year right.😉
Carol HJanuary 3, 2021 at 8:03 pm
Absolutely delicious! I was surprised that the black eyed peas were so perfectly done without overnight soaking. This is definitely one of my all time favorite recipes! I subbed diced carrots for the bell peppers and used 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes.
GaiFebruary 9, 2021 at 11:34 am
I just made this on a snowy day for lunch. I didn’t have any fire roasted tomatoes so I added liquid smoke at the end. Delicious!
CandaceMay 26, 2022 at 8:09 pm
This is wonderful!, Thank you. I love black-eyed peas.