“Black Eyed Peas, Luck and New Rules!”

Black Eyed Pea SoupAre you superstitious? Are there certain beliefs or lore that have to do with luck that you adhere to? In the Southern United States it is a long held belief that cooking and eating Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day will bring you good luck all year. It really doesn’t matter how or if you cook them as long as you at least eat them on New Year’s Eve or Day for yearlong prosperity.

The history is long and the writing is vast on this subject. A simple Google search will give you more information than you can imagine. To intrigue you I will just throw out these separate, yet very connected words & phrases, ” Rosh Hashana”, “American South”, “Shephardi Jews”, “legume”, “George Washington Carver” (bless that man!), and “Georgia”.

Dried Black Eyed Peas

My peas ready to be cooked last year. I am pretty much a “doubting Thomas” when it comes to these things, but I do always try to cook a pot of peas on New Year’s Day…just in case. Do not worry if you don’t get to cook Black Eyed Peas on the eve or day of the New Year. I am making a “new rule for the Modern South”. You can now make your favorite “Black Eyed Peas with Ham Hock”, or “Hoppin” John” or “Peas & Greens with Cornbread” whenever you like and you will still have all the good luck and prosperity that you need for the coming year! I am sure of it. New Rule!

A very easy & delicious “Black Eyed Pea Soup with Ham”


1 lb of dried black eyed peas, 1/4 lb mostly lean ham hock,  1 cup chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves crushed, salt & freshly ground black pepper, 2 cups chicken stock


1. Soak black eyed peas in just enough water to cover them for about 2 hours. Drain. Place peas in a stockpot with fresh water just to cover, the ham hock cut into chunks, onions, garlic cloves, salt & pepper & chicken stock. Bring to a boil, turn to low and simmer until peas are softened, not mushy. This can take around an hour or two. Taste and adjust seasonings.

2. Serve with warm corn muffins & freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano.

Black Eyed Peas with Parmesamn

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Bon Appetit, Buena Suerte and Happy New Year Y’all and thanks for stopping by.

Teresa Blackburn, Food on Fifth

17 thoughts on ““Black Eyed Peas, Luck and New Rules!”

  1. Oh, Teresa. This post is near and dear to my heart. My grandmother swore by this superstition and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m glad that my mother still keeps the tradition alive and now it is something that I do if I’m not home for the New Year. I look forward to another year of your lovely recipes and blogging friendship. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year to come. Cheers!

  2. This soup looks delicious! I like the addition of Parmesan. We lived in Georgia for a while so we obtained some southern cooking and definitely the love of some southern food items and I feel my mother use to make black eyed pea soup a lot more when we lived there- I did not know the luck part of it though 🙂 Have a happy new year!!

  3. Wishing you all the best in the new year, Teresa. I always cook black-eyed peas for good luck. As to your “new rule”, I don’t think I’ll take the chance and keep eating them on the 1st of January. All the other days that they are eaten should just reinforce my luck. 🙂

  4. Liz, thanks so much and Happy New Year.
    Jill, just stare at the pot of soup intently and I am sure the taste will come through! Ha.
    Karen, I was really just trying to give those who just cannot possibly get to cooking some good peas on New Year’s Day to fill that they are not doomed for the rest of the year…New Rules! Thanks for stopping by so often this past year. Happy New Year

    1. That is too funny, I don’t think you would be domed but I don’t want to take any chances. Would you believe that I have never gone a year without having them on new year’s day. 🙂

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