How to Make It
Sort and rinse peas, discarding any broken peas or stones. Place peas and water to cover by 2 inches in a large bowl. Allow peas to soak 8 hours or up to overnight. After soaking, drain peas and discard soaking water.
Place peas, stock, bacon, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until tender, about 8 hours. Remove and discard herb sprigs, bay leaf, and bacon slices. If desired, serve peas drizzled with olive oil.
For Easy Fresh Black-Eyed Peas: Substitute 2 lb. fresh shelled peas or frozen, thawed peas for dried peas. Combine peas and all remaining ingredients except olive oil in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil over medium-high, skimming and discarding foam from surface as necessary. Once peas have come to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until peas are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and discard herb sprigs, bay leaf, and bacon slices. Serve peas drizzled with olive oil, if desired.