Any southerner "worth their salt" will tell you that eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day brings good luck and prosperity to the new year! I've been eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day for most of my life. My Grandma Maurine was from Alabama, and she made sure to teach me the traditions of the south. Although Grandma wasn't the best of cooks, this was one dish she knew how to make quite well - this and Southern Green Beans. (Click here for the recipe.)
1 bag of black eyed peas (soaked according to package directions)
1 lb of bacon, chopped into bite sized pieces **
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbls Old Bay seasoning
6 - 8 cups of water
1 Chicken Bouillon cube
** Note: I normally use a couple of ham hocks and some chunks of ham. Decided to try using bacon this time. It's just as good.
1. Heat a soup pot over flame. Add bits of bacon and fry until it begins to brown. Drain some of the grease, but leave a little for flavor.
2. Add garlic and onion to bacon, continue stirring until onions become translucent. Add a little bit of the water to de-glaze the pan. Add drained black-eyed peas; stir to combine.
3. Add enough water to cover the peas, with about 1" to spare. Add the bouillon cube and Old Bay seasoning.
4. Cook uncovered until mixture comes to a boil. Lower heat and place a lid on pot, but leave it slightly ajar. Cook stirring often for approximately 2 hours. Continue checking that there is enough water. Do not let the beans go dry before they are cooked through.
5. Remove lid and continue cooking until the peas are less soupy. This should be the consistency of chili, not soup.