Spicy Collards and Black-eyed Pea Soup

by on May 15, 2008
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Spicy Collards and Black-eyed Pea SoupI’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.

Spicy Collards and Black-eyed Peas Soup

Spicy Collards and Black-eyed Pea Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you don't like or can't find collards, feel free to substitute your favorite greens. Quicker-cooking greens such as spinach should be added right at the end of cooking.
Serves: 6
  • 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
  1. Spray or wipe a pressure cooker or large pot with few drops of olive oil. (If your pot is non-stick, just add a little water instead.) Heat it and add the onions. (Electric pressure cooker users, use Sauté or Brown setting.) Sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
  2. Add the black-eyed peas, water, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano.
  3. Cooking: If using a pressure cooker, seal the cooker and cook for 10 minutes after it reaches high pressure; use a quick-release method to bring down the pressure.
  4. If cooking in a regular pot, cook until peas are tender, about 45-55 minutes.
  5. 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 or Brown 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.)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6th of recipe Calories: 242 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 45g Sodium: 488mg Fiber: 11g Protein: 16g


Spicy Collard and Black-eyed Pea Soup

Original photo from 2008

This low-fat, vegan soup can be made in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker or in any old pot on your stove. Delicious and healthy!

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tom December 29, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I did this recipe but made it in a crockpot overnight – it turned out great.


2 jill January 10, 2010 at 7:24 pm


I accidentally bought le cabanon thinking it was just double strength tomato paste. I noticed that it is 68% hot chilis….do you know what this is or if it would work in this recipe?.BTW, I am cooking paella right now and did split pea earlier today. I ama full time student and and single momandyou recipes freeze well! We eat them throughout the wee, thanks!



3 Mrs. Harris February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I made this soup last week for my husband and my siblings. Everyone loved it! Halfway through dinner, my sister-in-law says,"So these are collards? Not bad." It never occurred to us that being from MI she had never eaten collards!


4 Julie June 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I made this tonight, and it came out great. Very spicy and flavorful!


5 Anna Down Under September 28, 2010 at 7:33 am

I’ve made this several times and it’s wonderful! Though black eyed peas are harder to find in Australia, and I can not find collard greens at all so I use what Aussie’s call Silverbeet (Swiss Chard) instead. Still, it’s fantastic!


6 Arthur October 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Susan, I can’t get over how great your recipes are! I’m from the Mobile, Alabama area, and I make your Cajun/Creole recipes several times a month.


7 SusanV October 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Hi Arthur! My parents are from Alabama (War Eagle!), so I’m glad to know that someone from Mobile enjoys my recipes. Thanks for commenting!


8 Margo November 3, 2010 at 6:49 am

Great! I’m from Mobile too and stumbled upon your site as I was looking for recipes to fit into my new vegan diet(courtesy of Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes) and I must say that so far I don’t miss meat at all! Now if I can just get the die-hard southern meat-eaters in my family to do the same 🙂


9 Jasmin November 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I loved this recipe I made it last new years and I am going to make it again this thanksgiving and I did as tom and made it an a crockpot as well !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love the website


10 MIA November 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Although to my nose this soup didn’t smell as good as some others it tastes great. I used regular paprika so I did all chipotle instead of hot sauce & cayenne and added a couple dashes of chili powder. I also used 2 14oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes and kale because thats what looked best at WF. I will def make this again 🙂


11 MIA November 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm

I forgot to mention I also threw in about a cup/cup and a half of cooked quinoa I had in the fridge & it is great in there!!


12 Marjorie January 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Thank you for this delicious recipe. I made this soup for a group of friends for a festive meal. The soup got rave reviews! I did not add the chipotle pepper, and it was hot enough for everyone, but not too hot!

My first attempt at cooking black-eyed peas, too. Very successful.

Thanks again.


13 SusanV January 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Excellent! Glad to hear it!


14 Bailey Loves Your Soup January 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

My vegan best friend’s mother made this for a bunch on New Year’s Eve, for luck in the new year, and just so you know, I’ve never had a soup that I liked so much- and I dislike collard greens, even if I am from Tennessee. Thanks so great for this recipe- after tasted it, I considered becoming vegan! It was wonderful.


15 bethanne January 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I am in the same boat as you with the bagged greens. Plus I have a boatload of leftover black eyed peas. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!!


16 Deb February 8, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Just made this tonight and its so excellent! I had made Lorna Sass’s version a few times before, but as I live in New Orleans now it was about time to kick it up a notch!

Oh yeah, and I finally got a pressure cooker this year! Vegan + grad student + pressure cooker = <3


17 Treathyl FOX February 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm

I was looking for a more recent post. But I couldn’t pass up a collard greens and black-eye-pea recipe. Just reading the recipe has my mouth watering.


18 Shirley @ gfe August 20, 2011 at 7:40 am

Just found this recipe from Lydia’s roundup on Soup Chick. It looks delicious–thanks! 🙂



19 Janet September 3, 2011 at 11:10 am

I’m thinking of making this recipe. I just got a batch of crowder peas (never had those before, but am very familiar with black eyed peas–these seem similar). My peas are fresh, not dried. What would you change in the recipe? Just reduce the water to a couple of cups? I appreciate you and your website so very much. You have made our switch to being almost no fat/plant eaters possible! Thanks!


20 SusanV September 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

Fresh peas are the best! I would use 3 cups, if you have them, and start the water at 3-4 cups and add more as needed. Hope you enjoy it!


21 Janet September 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Ah, just finished eating our crowder peas and mustard greens, and they were YUMMMY! Great recipe. Thanks so much. This was my first time to ever eat mustard greens–been afraid of them–very good. I couldn’t believe all that bunch would go in the pan, but it did, and didn’t really seem like too much. I need the calcium and iron, so it has been my goal to add greens to my diet.


22 Julie & Marty September 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

This is a very hearty soup! I enjoyed the flavors and can’t wait to taste the leftovers. I believe it will taste even better tomorrow. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this takes along time to make! I boiled my peas for along time before they finally got tender. I used only half the hot sauce, but I did not find this soup too spicy at all. Great over rice.


23 Alexandria Lewis December 19, 2011 at 5:55 am

Dinner tonight 🙂 thank you very much!


24 KBeane December 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm


If you are using a regular pot or slow cooker, do you have to soak the beans first? I have only used canned black eyed peas, and assumed dried would need to be soaked for several hours first.

Looks great!


25 Susan Voisin December 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm

No need to soak them since they’re so small. You can if you want, but it only cuts down the cooking time a little.


26 Suzanne January 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Just made this today for our New Years meal. It’s “religion in a bowl”! I feel just a little closer to my roots. Thank you Susan! Happy New Years to you and your family!


27 Carol U January 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Made this for New Year’s Day. It was so excellent. I did soak the beans overnight just because I knew I would not have a lot of extra time if the beans weren’t done yet.

All of us really loved this so very much. Thanks for teh great recipe


28 Pam January 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Loved this soup, so did DH! The heat and smokiness made the broth exquisite. Thanks!


29 Nathan January 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Made this last night for dinner (and had it again today for lunch). Had to sub frozen collard greens, but it was still amazing. Thank you.

(dark) Photo: http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxv94xXhA01qcincoo1_500.png


30 Mindy January 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Lorna Sass plus Susan V = awesome. Lorna’s pressure cooker book was one of the first [mostly] vegan books I got from the library and it helped turn me vegan. I have this soup bubbling in my PC right now! I can’t wait. I know it’s going to be fantastic.


31 Libby March 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm

This is just fabulous. Thanks for another wonderful recipe! I used all the spices, even a bit of extra chipotle and smoked paprika and the spice level was just right – hot enough to notice, but not so hot that you can’t eat the whole bowl. It’s great on brown rice, or over a baked sweet potato.


32 Anna November 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

This is exactly what I was looking for, can’t wait to make it!


33 Lisa R December 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm

This recipe was FANTASTIC!!!!! It has just the right amount of heat ( didn’t even need to add the hot sauce), and the smokiness of the chipotle peppers makes this recipe perfect and delicious. Thank you for making my stomach happy this new year! 😉


34 Plia January 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I realized I don’t have any fresh greens. Would frozen chopped spinach be a good substitute?


35 Susan Voisin January 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Sounds good to me. 🙂


36 Sue S January 15, 2013 at 5:22 am

Have to make this for supper tonight. Comfort foods. Yum.


37 Courtenay March 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I want to thank you for the many delish meals we’ve had, inspired by your recipes. On this chilly evening we warmed up with Spicy Collards. Yum. We changed our diet about four years ago when my honey was diagnosed with serious heart disease. Found Dr. Esselstyn’s book on revearsing heart disease, along with Ornish and Campbell, and found you! Have to say that I don’t know if we could stick to this path without fellow travelers who create really good recipes with depth and complexity. Thanks!


38 Sarah September 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

If I want to make this in the crockpot, do you recommend waiting to add the greens, or should I still add them with everything else? I will be making this overnight.

Thanks, love your site!


39 Susan Voisin September 24, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I think I’d add them later. Hope you enjoy it!


40 mmulz January 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm

i cannot get recipes in my recipe box even though i have subscribed made this recipe and enjoyed it very much. Help Please!!


41 Chelsey Williams January 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Hi there!
New to your site! Made this today. I tweaked it and made it my own, but used your recipe as a guide. It is delicious!!!!
Thank you so much
Happy new year


42 Fritzi January 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!


43 Sarah February 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*


44 Pat B May 23, 2014 at 9:58 am

Are black eyed peas supposed to be soaked? I do not have a pressure cooker.


45 Pat B May 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!


46 Jean Heath December 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.


47 Rebecca Finch January 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.


48 Alexandra December 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.


49 Jackie January 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.


50 Pam January 1, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Thank you so much for reposting this into my Facebook newsfeed in 2016!


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