Sunday, January 20, 2013

Chipotle and Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Double Cilantro (Vegetarian, can easily be made vegan)

A delightful and slightly spicy soup made with black-eyed peas.

(Today's choice for A Month of Daily Phase One Recipes is this unusual and delicious soup made from black-eyed peas, herbs, and a touch of spicy ground Chipotle pepper.  You'd have to limit yourself to a small serving of this for Phase One, since the soup is mostly beans, so enjoy it with something like Vegan Tomato Salad with Cucumbers, Avocado, Cilantro, and Lime on the side.)

Mention eating black-eyed peas, and most people think of Hopping John, the southern U.S. dish that combines black-eyed peas, ham, and collard greens. If I hadn't made Hopping John Soup a few years ago, and realized how much I like the taste of black-eyed peas, I might not have tried making this soup. That would have been just sad, because I absolutely loved this recipe, (which I did change a tiny bit, mostly to indulge my love for extra lime and cilantro.)

Of course this is my post for Meatless Monday, and this tasty soup can easily be vegan if you use vegetable broth.   (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch.  For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, follow our Meatless Monday board on Pinterest, or check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

I love to use frozen black-eyed peas (which still need to be cooked).  I couldn't find a 16 oz. package, so I bought two 12 oz. packages and kept the extra in the freezer.

Use a generous amount of chopped onion and minced garlic.

Saute the onion, garlic, rosemary, and thyme.

Add the stock and frozen black-eyed peas and cook until they're quite soft, about 40-60 minutes.   Then stir in the ground Chipotle pepper and chopped cilantro.

Remove soup from the heat and use an immersion blender, blender, or food processor to puree the mixture.  (Be very careful if using a blender or food processor!)  Serve hot, with more chopped cilantro to add at the table.

Black-Eyed Pea SoupAnd just to keep me humble, here's the original photo of this soup from 2008!  Luckily I remembered how good it was so I was inspired to make it again.

Chipotle and Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Double Cilantro
(Makes 4 servings but can easily be doubled, recipe adapted slightly from Simply Delicioso by Ingrid Hoffman.)

1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary (I used my frozen rosemary)
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (I used my frozen thyme.)
1 pkg (16 oz.) frozen black-eyed peas
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or 4 cans chicken or vegetable  broth (I used homemade chicken stock)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2-3 T fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chile powder (or less, also can use a finely chopped chipotle chile pepper from a can)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
sour cream or plain yogurt for serving

Heat oil in heavy soup pot, add onion, and saute over medium high heat until onion starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook a few minutes more, then add fresh or dried rosemary and thyme and cook 2-3 minutes more.

Add frozen black-eyed peas and chicken stock, let come to a boil, then reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook 40-60 minutes, or until black-eyed peas are quite softened. Stir in chopped cilantro and chipotle chile powder or chopped chipotle pepper, then remove soup from heat.

Use a food process, blender, or immersion blender to puree soup, being very careful with the hot liquid. (I used my Braun Immersion Blender to puree the soup right in the pot, a method I highly recommend if you have one of these handy gadgets.)

When soup is pureed, reheat it to a very slight simmer. Stir in lime juice and season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. (I didn't use any salt.) Serve hot with sour cream or plain yogurt if desired, and provide extra chopped cilantro to garnish each serving of soup.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Soup with legumes or beans are approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet, although with soup like this where beans are the only main ingredient you would need to limit serving size for Phase One.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas for Black-Eyed Peas:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Hopping John Soup
Spicy Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens from Gluten-Free Bay
Fennel-Scented Black-Eyed Peas and Wild Greens from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Pork Skin from Rubber Slippers in Italy
Black-Eyed Pea Soup from A Lucid Spoonful
Herby Black-Eyed Pea from Almost Turkish Recipes
Black-Eyed Pea Stew from For the Love of Food
Sweet Potato and Black-Eyed Peas Soup from Daily Musings
Creole Black-Eyed Peas from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas from Pink of Perfection

Blogger Disclosures:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon! counter customizable free hit

The brilliant idea of combining black-eyed peas with Latin flavors comes from a cookbook called Simply Delicioso.  This book was sent to me by the publisher back in 2008.  (I no longer accept books or food products to review.)

This recipe was originally posted for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Zorra from Kochtopf.
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. mmm...triple cilantro for me, please.

  2. I love this simple soup recipe. I suppose a can of black eyed peas would work well too?

  3. Mallika, canned black-eyed peas would be fine, but a 16 oz. package seems like about 2 cans of black-eyed peas to me.

  4. Hi Kalyn, so glad I randomly found you. These recipes sound really great, and easily doable, the holy grail of cooking IMO. Definitely my philosophy, too....

    I've subscribed to you
    Keep up the good work!


  5. That soup looks good. I have not used black eyed peas before. I will have to look for some.

  6. This looks so good, Kalyn. We only get fresh black-eyed peas here in December, leading up to New Year's.
    btw: I've got a surprise for you. ;)

  7. Christine, I do hope you're coming to Salt Lake. That would be a great surprise!

  8. The cilantro with the flavour of black-eyed peas always works well.

  9. Kalyn, this soup sounds fabulous. I'm w/ you on double the cilantro. When you love the stuff, it's never too much.

    Thanks for the mention!

  10. I want you to know that I ate cilantro last week in the U.S. Just a tiny bit and I didn't even gag... So I bought some seeds for my herb garden. We'll see....
    I'm always happy to expand my culinary horizons. ;-))

  11. If anyone is interested, Christine's surprise was Cilantro for Kalyn. What a thoughtful surprise.

    I'm happy to hear that some people are confirming that the idea of cilantro with black-eyed peas sounds good. I was wondering if it would appeal to anyone but me.

    Katie, great news that you're becoming at least open to the idea of cilantro. Of course there are a lot of other good herbs, but it will probably always be my favorite.

  12. Sound delicious, and yes black-eyed peas are popular in Spain, as all kind of beans and peas.

  13. Mmm ... black-eyed peas soup sounds delicious! I've never thought of using those in a soup - and now that you've mentioned it, I can't wait to try it :)

  14. only just checked last week's roundup and found this great recipe!
    let me file this away for a cold winter night.

  15. Just noticed this, and it sounds really wonderful - yum, double cilantro! Thanks for the link.

  16. How much black-eyed pea if I only have dry ones? And how to go about it too, please?
    Thanks, this soup sounds great!

  17. I haven't ever cooked dried beans and then weighed them, so I can't tell you exactly how much dried beans would make 16 oz. cooked beans. I'd guess it wouldn't be much more than about a cup of dried beans. I'd soak the beans overnight, then cook in water until they are quite tender, then proceed with directions in the recipe. (I might double it and freeze some if I was starting with dried beans.)


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