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 this New Year's!
This healthy Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Stew is everything you want to eat on a cold winter's night. This one-pot soup is hearty, spicy, and oh so satisfying and delicious!
- Why you are going to love this black-eyed pea soup
- What are black-eyed peas?
- Ingredient notes
- How to cook black-eyed peas
- What do black-eyed peas taste like?
- How to make Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Stew
- Expert tip
- How to serve this Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Stew
- Can this stew be frozen?
- Related Recipes
- Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Stew
I am so excited to share this black-eyed pea recipe with you! This recipe is adapted from the Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.
This cookbook is a classic, and I recommend it highly because it covers the basics thoroughly. Have you ever picked up a vegetable you're not sure how to prepare at the market? Then this is the book for you!
I received this book as a gift when I was a vegetarian, and I still refer to it now that I'm vegan. It's a wealth of information!
Why you are going to love this black-eyed pea soup
One word. Flavor. It has tons of flavor thanks to the seasoning and the inherent flavor of black-eyed peas.
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!
The secret is the Chile de árbol. If you don't have enough of it in this stew, this recipe will be good. But if you have enough of this chile in it and then some, this stew will have you asking for another bowl. It's that good!
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.
What you're going to need to make this stew recipe:
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- wooden spoon
- large stockpot
- mortar and pestle for grinding the whole allspice
If you're going to cook the beans yourself, you can use the same stockpot you used to cook the beans. Just let it cool for a few minutes, wash it, and you're good to go. That's what I did to make this recipe.
- Cooked black-eyed peas (or canned). I can easily find black-eyed peas at Natural Grocer or online at Vitacost.
- Vegan stock - I used a "no beef base," which is terrific in this recipe if you can find it (mix with hot water first), or you can use a vegetable broth.
- Coconut oil - I used virgin coconut oil, my favorite oil for this soup. The soup doesn't taste like coconut. You can also try olive oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil.
- Sea salt, adjust to your taste - I like my soups well seasoned!
- Poultry seasoning, a savory mixture of sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. Some versions add nutmeg and pepper.
- Three dried Arbol chiles, also known as Chile de árbol, or bird's beak chile for spice and extra flavor. They can be found fresh, dried, or powdered. For this recipe, I use dried since that's what I had available.
- Kale; you can also try collard greens, turnip greens, or spinach.
How to cook black-eyed peas
If you've never tried cooking black-eyed peas, or you're wondering what the fuss is about, you need to try making them yourself. When you add salt and Arbol chiles to black-eyed peas, the result is magical. It just takes a little pre-planning.
Here's how to do it:
- 1. Soak 1 pound of black-eyed peas in water overnight on the counter in the same pot you'll be cooking them in. If you're in a warm or hot environment, you may want to refrigerate them overnight.
- 2. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse them before you start cooking.
- 3. Place the beans in the stock pot and cover them with two inches of water.
- 4. Add one tablespoon of Kosher salt and three Arbol chiles. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low or low-medium. 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.
- 5. Taste the beans for doneness. Drain the beans and reserve the chiles to add to the soup later after they've been chopped.
- 6. To cool the beans quickly, place them on a baking sheet. Let cool, and refrigerate half for making the soup again in a couple of days or for some other use. Otherwise, freeze the beans; see below for freezing directions.
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.
How to make Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Stew
- Start by heating a large stockpot on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add coconut oil.
- 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.
- Add the bay leaves, poultry seasoning, and allspice, stirring for a minute or two.
- At this point, add the stock and black-eyed peas. If you are using canned black-eyed peas, add the dried Arbol chiles. If you are using cooked from scratch black-eyed peas, add the chopped Arbol chiles if you've been following the directions above.
- Cook the stew for approximately 20 minutes, up to 30 minutes.
- A few minutes before serving, remove the whole Arbol chiles (if not chopped already), let them cool briefly, and chop them. Add them back into the soup.
- Stir in kale for a couple of minutes before planning to serve the soup. Taste for seasoning, and serve.
- Kid-friendly: To make this stew less spicy with less of a flavor punch, you can omit the freshly ground allspice powder or use half, 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: In some of the photos, you'll notice that I garnished the stew with homegrown kohlrabi sprouts since they were available. I thought they would make a lovely garnish; they are optional. I usually don't garnish this stew with anything.
- Instead of kale, stir in collard greens, turnip greens, or spinach for a few minutes before planning to serve the soup.
- Instead of allspice, try ras el hanout. This Moroccan spice mix works well in this recipe!
- If you don't have black-eyed peas, try purple hull peas. I've never tried purple hull peas, so if you try it, let me know it turns out! I can easily find black-eyed peas at Natural Grocer or online at Vitacost.
- If you're using canned beans, you can stir the three Arbol chiles into the soup as it's coming together. When the soup is done cooking, remove the chiles, chop them, and stir them back into the soup.
I highly recommend cooking black-eyed peas versus opening a can or jar. The difference in taste is evident! 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. Can you say that about canned beans? To save time, make them the day before.
I highly recommend cooking the dried beans with three dried Arbol chiles, as mentioned above and in the recipe. When the beans are finished cooking after 45 minutes, reserve the chiles and chop them after they cool. Stir them into the soup as it's cooking if you enjoy even more flavor and spice!
How to serve this Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Stew
I love to serve this stew with cornbread, or a crusty loaf of sourdough and plant-based butter. If I'm feeling extra hungry, I'll serve a salad first. If you wish, you can serve it as an appetizer.
This soup is so flavorful and filling, I love it for the main dish. However, maybe you'd like it as a first course if you have my Vegan Meatloaf as the main course!
- Refrigerate the stew within two hours of cooking. Let it cool on the counter first.
- Refrigerate the bean stew promptly in covered airtight containers.
- Properly stored, the stew will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Can this stew be frozen?
- To further extend the shelf life of this vegan black-eyed pea stew, freeze it in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
- It will maintain the best quality for about 4 to 6 months but will remain safe beyond that time.
- How long does the stew last after being frozen and thawed? Cooked bean stew that has been thawed in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before cooking; bean stew that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be eaten immediately.
If you make this Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Stew, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. You can follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me! Just tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Stew
- large stockpot
- wooden spoon
- chef's knife
- mortar and pestle
- 4 cups water if using bouillon, otherwise use 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1.5 tablespoons vegan no beef base
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil virgin
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 celery stalk halved and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- ½ teaspoon Celtic finely ground sea salt
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice freshly ground, or previously ground
- 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 when cooking
- 3 Chile de Arbol dried (if using canned beans, otherwise add them to your black-eyed peas when cooking them)
- 1 cup fresh kale packed leaves, reserve stems for another use
- 2 cups water optional, if the soup is too thick, add water
- Heat 4 cups water in a pot, add vegan no beef base and stir until dissolved. Set aside. If using vegetable stock instead, set 4 cups aside for later.
- 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.
- Stir in bay leaves, poultry seasoning, and allspice. Saute for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour stock slowly in the sauce pan, add 3 ½ cups cooked black eyed peas and Arbol chiles; bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the soup is too thick, add 1 to 2 cups of water.
- Take out the Arbol chiles, let cool briefly, chop them if needed, and stir them back into the soup. In the meantime, remove bay leaves.
- Stir in kale and serve.
- 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 leftover 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 adapted from 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.