Kale and Berkshire Ham Black-Eyed Pea Soup


Prepare for a New Year filled with health and prosperity by cooking traditional black-eyed peas. In the South, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity in the new year. The traditional preparation also includes hearty greens and ham. In this recipe, we’re using curly kale and leftover ham from Christmas. The peas ability to swell in size symbolizes prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion. A hearty serving of this soup comes with good Karma and amazing health benefits! Bon Appetit!



  • 2 Cans of Black-Eyed Peas
  • ½ lb. Chopped Curly Kale
  • ½ Yellow Onion (diced small)
  • ½ Cup Sliced Baby Carrots
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 lb. Fork Tender Braised Ham
  • 6 Cups Pork Stock



  1. If enjoying a bone-in ham, place the bone and scraps into a pot, cover with water, and slowly simmer in the oven at 250 until the meat is fork tender. Once the meat is tender, strain the stock and set aside, and place the bone and scraps in a mixing bowl and allow to cool.


  2. In a 4 quart soup pot, heat the oil, then add the onion, carrot, garlic, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf and saute gently until all these ingredients are soft. Add the kale and cook a few minutes longer until it’s wilted.

  3. Add the black-eyed peas and pork stock, and bring to a boil. Add the braised ham and bring back to a boil.

  4. Check the seasoning. Note: Be careful NOT to add salt until you taste this first because Berkshire ham typically is very high in salt content.

  5. Once the seasoning is checked, this soup is ready to serve.


Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 278
Total Fat 10g
Carbohydrates 23g
Protein 24g
Servings Per Recipe 6

* Nutrition Facts are based on 1 serving.

Photographer: Carmen Troesser