Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Soup

This lightened-up soup is a spin-off of the classic New Year's feast.

Vegan black-eyed pea soup in white bowl on white plate

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis

Active Time:
30 mins
Slow Cook Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 30 mins

Black-eyed peas are as important to New Year's Day in the South as resolutions you won't keep and aspirations for a productive and peaceful new year. That is to say, you must have them, no questions asked.

But if you or a guest at the table is skipping meat products, you can still enjoy every last sip of the soul-satisfying soup with this lightened-up vegan version of the classic soup. In place of ham hocks or smoked turkey, this soup gets its depth of flavor from tomato paste and smoked paprika. We've also bulked it up with more vegetables.

And if you're only making this vegan version for a person or two, good news! The leftovers get better and better. Serve up with some cornbread for sopping and you'll have heaty, filling meals for days.


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion (from 1 large onion)

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbsp.)

  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots

  • 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas

  • 10 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth

  • 3 cups chopped stemmed collard greens (from 1 [8-oz.] bunch)

  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (from 3 small celery stalks)

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 1 (8 1/2-oz.) pkg. precooked microwavable white rice

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until translucent, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, tomato paste, cumin and paprika; cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in carrots, black-eyed peas, vegetable broth, collard greens, celery, and bay leaves. Cover and cook until carrots and peas are very tender, about 4 hours on HIGH or 7 to 8 hours on LOW.

  2. Remove and discard bay leaves from soup. Add rice; stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Mix in thyme, black pepper, salt, and cayenne. Serve hot.

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