Stew is one of the easiest dishes to make, and it's always so satisfying. This Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Stew is perfect for cold fall and winter days. It's hearty and flavorful and sure to warm you up from the inside out.
Plus, it's really easy to customize based on your preferences. So you may find yourself making this vegan black-eyed pea soup over and over again!
I am so excited to share this vegan black-eyed pea soup recipe with you! This recipe is inspired by the Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.
Black-eyed peas are popular around the New Year because they're considered to be a lucky food.
This Vegan Black-eyed Pea Stew is the perfect way to celebrate the new year – it's hearty, healthy, and delicious! Plus, it's easy to make – you need a few simple ingredients. Give this recipe a try on a cold night!
For more heartwarming and filling meals, try my other favorites such as Vegan Pumpkin Chili, Vegan Butternut Squash Chili, Vegan Sweet Potato and Bean Stew, and Pumpkin Veggie Stew with Vegan Southwest Skillet Cornbread!
If you're in the mood for a comforting and creamy soup to warm you from the inside out, try this Vegan Gnocchi Soup.
Be sure to check out this Tepary Bean Salad for a delicious bean salad with black-eyed peas. It's perfect for game day or feeding a crowd.
What do black-eyed peas taste like?
Black-eyed peas are dense with an earthy flavor. The longer they get cooked, the more creamy the consistency gets. I like them with just a bit of a bite. The key is to cook them with salt to bring out the flavor, along with dried Chile de árbol.
Why you are going to love this recipe
One word: flavor.
This soup has a lot of flavor! But what is the secret, you may ask?
The secret is the Chile de árbol. It's my secret ingredient and will likely have you asking for another bowl. It's that good!
Every time I serve this soup, my husband keeps saying, "This is awesome….This is everything I want in a soup….This is delicious", over and over. I am not kidding, even with the leftovers.
This is one of my favorite soup recipes and I can't wait for you to try it! This recipe serves four. If you want leftovers or are serving a crowd, double or triple the recipe.
What are black-eyed peas?
Black-eyed peas are legumes originating from Africa and are grown throughout the world. Soul food and Southern food typically feature black-eyed peas. As the name hints, black-eyed peas are cream in color and have a black spot resembling an eye.
Many consider it good luck to consume black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, particularly in the South. As the black-eyed peas cook, they swell, symbolizing prosperity.
Here are the simple ingredients you need to make this vegan black-eyed pea stew:
- Black-eyed peas - You will need to cook dry beans first or use canned beans which are already cooked. I can easily find dry or canned black-eyed peas at the grocery store or online. I'd rather cook them myself, but for convenience it's handy to have canned black-eyed peas such as these organic ones.
- Vegan broth - I used a "no beef base," which is terrific in this recipe (mix with hot water first), or you can use a vegetable broth, homemade or purchased. I like to get the vegetable base in this variety pack.
- Coconut oil - I used virgin coconut oil, my favorite oil for this soup. The soup doesn't taste like coconut.
- Sea salt - adjust to your taste!
- Poultry seasoning - a savory mixture of sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. Some versions add nutmeg and pepper. I like this one.
- Dried Chile de árbol, a red pepper, or bird's beak chile for spice and extra flavor. I like these ones. I add these dried peppers to beans while they're cooking and while this soup is cooking.
- Kale - fresh, chopped kale to stir in near the end before serving, optional.
- Bay leaf - I used several dried bay leaves for additional flavor.
- Kale - stir in collard greens, turnip greens, or spinach for a few minutes before planning to serve the soup.
- Coconut oil - Try olive oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil.
- Allspice - try ras el hanout for a spicy kick. This Moroccan spice mix works well in this recipe! Or use freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning.
- Black-eyed peas - try purple hull peas, cannellini beans, black beans, or lima beans!
- Dried Chile de árbol - try canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.
- Less spicy - To make this vegan black-eyed pea stew less spicy with less of a flavor punch, you can omit the freshly ground allspice powder and skip the Arbol chiles completely. Or you can seed the Arbol chiles before you add them to the beans or the stew.
- Oil-free - Omit the oil and use a bit of water or vegetable broth as needed when cooking the onion to prevent it from sticking to the pot. I recommend adding a bit of salt to draw out water from the onion as it's cooking.
- Garnish - I garnished the stew with homegrown kohlrabi sprouts which are optional. I usually don't garnish this stew with anything, however.
- Add cooked vegan sage sausage - crumble or slice it. Saute it in the oil until it starts to brown before adding the vegetables.
- Smoky flavor - add smoked paprika or a couple drops of liquid smoke.
How to cook black-eyed peas
Here's how to cook dry black-eyed peas at home:
- Soak one pound of black-eyed peas in water overnight on the counter in the same pot you'll be cooking them in. If it's warm, refrigerate them overnight.
- Drain the beans in a colander and rinse them.
- Place the beans in the stock pot and cover them with two inches of water.
- Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and reduce heat to low or low-medium. Add one tablespoon of kosher salt and three Arbol chiles (optional). Occasionally stir to make sure they're not sticking to the bottom, and cook for 45 minutes at a simmer, not a constant rolling boil.
- Taste the beans for tenderness. Drain the beans, rinse with fresh, cool water, and reserve the chiles to add to the soup later after they've been chopped.
- To cool the beans quickly, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Let cool, and refrigerate half for making the soup again in a couple of days or for other uses. Otherwise, freeze the beans in a single layer in a freezer-safe ziplock bag.
How to make this vegan black eyed pea stew with kale
It's easy to make this black-eyed pea soup, even if it is your first time.
- Step 1: Heat a large pot on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add coconut oil; when it is shimmering, add the vegetables.
- Step 2: Add the onion, green bell pepper, celery, garlic, and salt. Cook for five minutes or so, occasionally stirring, until you see the onion starting to turn light golden. If the pot's bottom is getting brown, add a tablespoon of water and stir to deglaze it.
- Step 3:Add the bay leaves, poultry seasoning, and allspice, stirring for a minute or two.
- Step 4: Pour in the veg broth, cooked black-eyed peas and Arbol chiles - you can toss them in whole or chop them first. I usually throw them in whole.
- Step 5: Cook the stew for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Step 6: A few minutes before serving, remove the whole Arbol chiles (if not chopped already), let them cool briefly, and chop them. Put them back into the soup for extra flavor.
- Step 7: Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Stir in the chopped kale for a few minutes until it starts to soften before serving the soup.
- If you're using canned beans, you can stir the three whole Arbol chiles into the soup when you add the veg broth. When the soup is done cooking, remove the chiles, chop them, and stir them back into the soup. Or, chop the chiles first.
- Cook dried black-eyed peas if you have the time versus opening a can or jar. The difference in taste is worth it! I like to keep canned beans as a backup but cooked-at-home beans rule for taste and texture. They're so good I can eat them right out of the stockpot. To save time, make them ahead of time and freeze them in a single layer in a freezer-safe ziploc bag.
How to serve
I love to serve this vegan black-eyed pea soup as a main dish with cornbread, or a crusty loaf of sourdough and plant-based butter. Sometimes I'll serve a salad or roasted brussels sprouts or other vegetables first.
However, maybe you'd like it as a first course if you have my Vegan Lentil Loaf as the main course.
- Let the soup cool on the counter first.
- Refrigerate the bean stew within two hours of cooking in covered airtight containers for up to 3 to 4 days.
- Freeze it in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags for up to 4 to 6 months.
- Cooked bean stew thawed in the fridge can be kept for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before cooking; bean stew thawed in the microwave or cold water should be eaten immediately.
- When reheating, be sure to add enough water if the soup is too thick.
Looking for more recipes like this? Try these:
Hearty Vegan Black Eyed Pea Stew Recipe with Kale
- 4 to 5 cups water
- 1 ½ tablespoons vegan no beef base or seasoned vegetable base
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil virgin
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper chopped
- 3 medium celery stalks halved and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt adjust to taste
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice freshly ground, or ground allspice
- 3 ½ cups cooked black eyed peas save from 1 pound cooked black eyed peas cooked with 3 dried arbol chiles and 1 tablespoon kosher salt; chop chilies and add to soup while cooking
- 3 Chile de Arbol dried (if using canned beans, otherwise add to your black-eyed peas when cooking them)
- 1 cup fresh kale, chopped packed leaves, reserve stems for another use, optional
- Fresh kohlrabi sprouts garnish, optional
- Heat 4 cups water in a pot, add vegan no beef base and stir until dissolved. Set aside.4 to 5 cups water, 1 ½ tablespoons vegan no beef base
- Preheat a large soup pot on medium heat for 3 minutes, add coconut oil and swirl in the pan. Add onion, green bell pepper, celery, garlic, and sea salt and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the bottom and edges of the pan start browning, add a tablespoon or two of water.2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 large yellow onion, 1 large green bell pepper, 3 medium celery stalks, 3 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Stir in bay leaves, poultry seasoning, and allspice. Saute for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.3 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- Pour vegan beef broth slowly in the sauce pan, add black eyed peas and Arbol chiles; bring to a boil and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water to thin the soup if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning.3 ½ cups cooked black eyed peas, 3 Chile de Arbol
- Before serving, remove the Arbol chiles, let cool briefly, chop them if needed, and stir them back into the soup. Remove bay leaves and stir in kale, if using, for several minutes.1 cup fresh kale, chopped
- Garnish with fresh sprouts if desired. Serve and enjoy!Fresh kohlrabi sprouts
- Serve with salad and crusty bread or cornbread.
- Leftover soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days.
- Soup can be frozen in a glass container for up to 6 months.
- If the soup is too thick, add more water until you achieve the consistency you want.
- If you make the beans the day before, this recipe comes together in 30 minutes.
- Add more chiles de Arbol when you are reheating leftovers!
- This recipe is inspired by Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.