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Black-Eyed-Pea Soup with Greens and Ham

There's nothing better than a pot of Southern-style slow-simmered greens, flavored with salty ham and a dose of vinegar. Our quick soup starts with the same ingredients, adds black-eyed peas and a shot of Tabasco, and cooks in no time. Add more Tabasco or vinegar to suit your taste.

Plus: More Soup Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 6 scallions, white bulbs and green tops chopped and reserved separately
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound Swiss chard or other greens, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen black-eyed peas (about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2-pound piece ham, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red- or white-wine vinegar


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the scallion bulbs and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the Swiss chard, black-eyed peas, water, broth, Tabasco, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir the ham into the soup and cook until the ham is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the pepper, vinegar, and scallion tops.


Variations Instead of the Swiss chard, use your own favorite greens. Collard, mustard, kale, or beet greens would each lend its unique flavor to the soup.

Suggested Pairing

This soup has more than enough oomph to partner a rich California Syrah. Spicy blackberry and green-olive flavors, a strong earthy streak, and solid structure are its hallmarks, and all of these will go well here.

Photo © Melanie Acevedo

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