Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup

Entreés, Recipes, Soups

Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup | nutritionstripped.comHappy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a fun yet relaxing start to the New Year last week- I took some much needed time away from work, blogging, social media, and the like to re-energize, center, and refresh my focus for the new year. It was absolutely wonderful and I have some EXCITING things in store for you all this year, just wait! I’m back today to start off the New Year with a meal that I’ve been lovin’ the past week, Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup, a traditional new year food.

The most traditional meal to eat on New Years Day is the classic dish of black-eyed peas served with greens, ham/pork, and sauerkraut. I’m turning this traditional meal into a vegan friendly soup, Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup. It’s warming, comforting, incredibly healthy, delicious, and leaves you feeling satisfied and ready to tackle the new year ahead of you. 

Since as long as I can remember, my parents would always make pork, beans, greens, and sauerkraut on New Years Day and I never understood why until I was old enough to research it on my own. It’s a traditional meal mostly in the United States for a couple of reasons based on tradition but also a bit of superstition. There’s a saying that comes along with this dish “eat poor on New Years Eve and eat fat for the rest of the year” or along those lines- referring to wealth, prosperity, and success. Another philosophy behind this meal is the symbolic nature of dry beans. Dry beans resemble “coins” and while dry they’re small represent “less wealth”, but when soaked and cooked they expand representing expanding wallets and prosperity.

Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup |

I think it’s a great tradition to engage in, but I never liked pork and certainly don’t consume it now- therefore, I introduce you to my take on this classic dish in a vegan soup form. You can eat this recipe as a soup as pictured or you can try out it my favorite way: strain most of the broth and plate the black-eyed peas with all the veggies on a bed of quinoa or rice + top with sauerkraut + a dash of hot sauce = amazing.

I love using kale greens in soups and stews because it’s such a hearty green that it doesn’t become mushy like other greens would when cooked. The black-eyed peas are chewy and full of fiber and protein, perfect to make this a hearty and satisfying meal. The combination of these plant-based foods not only taste great, but it’s a great way to start of your new year especially when health is your top priority.

Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup |

5.0 from 5 reviews
Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
A warming, satisfying high fiber soup filled with black-eyed peas and kale. GF, VGN
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 4 cups organic kale, chopped
  • 6 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (vegetable stock will have some salt in it- use this to taste)
  • black pepper to taste
  • Garnish with hot sauce
  1. In a saucepan on medium heat, add coconut oil and onions and cook until softened. Add in celery, carrots, and garlic and cook until the mixture is nice and caramelized and cooked through (look for the onions to get slightly golden brown and reduced).
  2. Add spices, salt, and pepper to this mixture.
  3. In a large pot or crockpot (which is what I used), pour in vegetable stock, beans, and kale.
  4. Add the sauteed mixture of onions, carrots, celery into the Crockpot and let cook on "high" for 2 hours, stiring occasionally, and cooking for another 1-2 hours on "warm" or until the beans are cooked.
  5. If you're using a large pot on the stove, simply cook on medium heat for 2 hours or until the beans are nice and soft.
  6. Note: you have a lot of flexibility in the cooking process- if you enjoy your beans very cooked/very soft simply cook for much longer. If you like your vegetables and beans not as soft, cook for less time.
  7. Stir occasionally and taste test to find your happy medium.
  8. Enjoy!
Adjust sea salt and seasoning to your taste!

I love to serve this soup with a side of gluten free cornbread, favorite pajamas, and cozy slippers. Now you’re ready to lounge, relax, cozy up with a great book or movie, piece of paper and pen to set intensions for the year, and bring in the new year right. The cornbread that I love using is Bob’s Red Mill gluten free corn bread mix and you can make it with egg (as the recipe calls for) or to make vegan just use a flax egg (1 Tbs. flax seed + 3 Tbs. water) and it still turns out perfectly!

Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup |

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do- I’ll be making and eating it all day long! Be sure to click “SAVE” to your Recipe Box for future use. Also, I’d love to get your feedback on something- what would you like to see most on Nutrition Stripped besides recipes? Share below!

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Share your thoughts

  • YUM! I love how hearty this dish is and I can’t wait to try it. Perfect for a cold night in!

    • Hi Christina, YES it’s perfect for those types of nights 🙂

      • Anne

        In the Black Eye Pea and Kale Soup recipe you don’t mention soaking the beans before addig them to the crock pot. I’ve never put dry beans in a recipe without soaking them in water first. What do you recommend for this recipe? Thanks!

        • Hi Anne! Great question- since you’re cooking the beans for so long in the crockpot I don’t soak them before hand. You can always soak dried beans before to improve the digestibility with them if they give you digestive issues!

  • Jen

    Perfect use of kale! I will make this soon with kale from our winter garden. I have kale out there under cold frames & such.

  • Ashley

    Something I would appreciate besides recipes (but please don’t stop those!) is help with ingredients sourcing. I realize that every store a different so this may be tricky but general guidance would be very helpful. Explaining, for instance, coconut butter can be found near the olive oil. I find myself avoiding recipes that have “exotic” ingredients because I don’t know where to look for them and, unlike the stereotype, hate “asking for directions.” Silly, I know. 🙂

    • Hi Ashley,
      Excellent idea! I will put that for a future post 😉 Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Wendy

    Any advice for making this in a pressure cooker?

    • Hi Wendy,
      I’m not sure, I don’t use one. I would follow the instructions on how to make beans in the pressure cooker and then follow it up with the steps on the stove top 🙂

  • Misty

    Mmmmmm! I feel like Dinner is the hardest meal of the day to find good, healthy recipes that my kids and husband will all enjoy and feel full afterwards! Thank you McKel!

    • Hi Misty,
      Thank you so much- I hope you and your family love this one, it’s a favorite of mine!

  • Carolina

    This is just what the doctor ordered! I have fresh black eyed peas that I want to use. Any idea how the cooking will change if they are not dry? (I’m a very inexperienced cook!)

    • Hi Carolina, great question- if you choose to use canned beans instead of dry you would only need to cook the entire soup for about 30-40 minutes or until everything is well cooked and mixed together. Canned beans are pre-cooked. Hope you enjoy!

  • MDS

    This looks like a wonderfully tasty and healthy recipe. I wonder what I could substitute for the coconut oil, please?

    • Hi there-great question, you can simply use olive oil or grapeseed oil! Hope you love it 🙂

  • AD

    Hi – I have some frozen black eyed peas that I’d like to use for this recipe. Can I just add them to the veggie broth (how long?), or should they be heated separately and then added to the broth?

    • Sure! Feel free to use those and just add into the broth to heat through. Hope you enjoy 🙂

  • Judith

    The measurements for the herbs may be incorrect, unless you like a very bitter metallic taste. We were disappointed to have to toss the entire batch because it was inedible. Perhaps it should have been teaspoons instead of tablespoons or fresh instead of dried? We use very high quality herbs from Penzeys. Unless cooking kale too long creates that metallic taste – never had that problem before.

    Has anyone else actually made it? Did you use the measurements specified?

    • Hi Judith,
      Yes those herb measurements are 1 teaspoons- tablespoons (all seasonings, sea salt, and herbs always should be adjusted to suite your tastes!). Sorry you didn’t enjoy it! I’ve made additional “notes” on the recipe to reinforce to adjust it to your taste preferences 🙂

    • Angela

      I cooked this for game night the other day and I followed the recipe to a T and it was AMAZING! I just dropped meat from my diet 2 months ago so I’ve been trying new recipes and WOW this did not disappoint. I used organic ingredients and I did cook it on the stovetop this time because I got in too late to use the crockpot. My husband loved it as well, this will be a go to recipe for us for years to come. Loved it! It was amazing without the hot sauce but after we added some, we were in shock that it could even taste any better than it did, it was prefect. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      • So glad you enjoyed it Anglea! If you’ve been experimenting with meat free options, I think the next one you should give a try is the Sweet Potato Pecan Tacos- a huge hit!

  • Sharon

    I made this last night, it was so good!!! Thanks so much for the great recipe, I’m new to the vegan/vegetarian world and I will be making this often.

  • Kathleen

    This was out-of-this-world delish! I used frozen black eyed peas and reduced the veggie broth by half. I also increased amounts of Sage, Rosemary, cumin because it’s an awesome flavor combination.

  • Eric

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe, cooking now. I used Jalapeno instead of red pepper flakes, and it smells divine.

  • Thelma Hufman

    Thanks for the recipe! Made the soup today and it was very good!

  • Brian


  • Donna

    Made this soup today. It turned out really good and look forward to making again! Thanks for the super recipe!

  • Abby

    Came across your website somehow, and I just have to say that I love it! You are so thorough in your explanations of everything, and I am very excited to try this recipe for tonight! It’s in the crockpot as we speak 🙂 I did substitute collards for the kale, as I absolutely detest kale haha.

    • Haha great improvisation with collards, which are equally good in this soup! Thanks for dropping by and hope you come by again!

  • Mallory

    I just made this following the directions exactly except for the coconut oil (only because I live in Panama and it’s nearly $10 for a jar, otherwise I’d have used it) and it turned out fantastic. Thank you! Feeling so good and looking forward to all the yummy leftovers. I’m sure it freezes well too! Xx

  • Shellee Dyer

    This recipe is one of my all-time favorites! My only problem was that the carrots and celery were too soft for my taste by the time the beans were done. I recommend cooking the beans for a while, and adding the carrots and celery later. But overall, a yummy soup! thanks!

  • Nades

    For this recipe, what is the serving size? 1 cup?

    • McKel Hill

      As much as you’d like! 1-2 cups

  • Lisa Hill

    Am I missing something? After cooking on med-low for 40 min my juice was all gone. I even had a lid?

  • Rick Morrow

    I’m on a Brussels Sprouts craze. I used Brussels Sprouts instead of Kale and a sliced narrowly a single Celery stalk. I also used a bunch of other spices on the shelf, including Sage, Caraway Seeds, Oregano, Basil, Cayenne Pepper, Ginger, Curry and Ground Cumin. I cut a Serrano Chile up, along with a Shallot and a couple of cloves of Garlic. Crushed a bullion cube and added Garlic Salt and Salt. I didn’t need any oil or meat. I added a dash of corn starch and some finely chopped Potatoes for thickening. I like to experiment.

    Delicious, if I do say so myself.



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