Protip: You can find fresh black-eyed peas at the farmers market in late summer and fall. If using fresh ones, reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes (or until the beans are tender).
Prep Time: 15m
Cook Time: 35m to 1h
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for serving
4 ounce smoked country ham or bacon, cut into a small dice (optional)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1lb dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained
Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Optional toppings: poached eggs, chopped parsley, and hot sauce
- Heat two tablespoons oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add ham or bacon (if using) and cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. Add the onion and cook until until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add thyme, garlic, peas, eight cups of cold water, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered, skimming any foam from the surface, until beans are tender, 35 minutes to over an hour (depending on the age of the beans. Discard thyme sprigs, season with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot with optional toppings.
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