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Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup

This Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup recipe combines the classic rice and black eyed peas from southern Hoppin' John, with sausage and loads of fresh spinach.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Soup in a vintage brown serving bowl.

This Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup recipe combines the classic rice and black eyed peas from southern Hoppin’ John, with sausage and loads of fresh spinach. It’ll warm you and nourish your soul at the same time.

Allow me a moment today if you will before I get to the recipe for Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup. Sometimes I just enjoy rambling a bit :-) And for those of you who simply cannot be bothered to read more than the recipe itself, please take advantage of the “Jump to Recipe” button you’ll find at the top of the post.

Soup in a vintage brown serving bowl.

Facebook is such an incredible thing. The brainchild of some wonderfully bright college students, it has grown into a major social media site today.

Facebook is great for keeping up with all the comings and goings of your family and friends, but what I like best is the awesome ability it gives to re-connect with people.

I’ve found lots of my old high school friends, some previous co-workers, and other people I had known and almost forgotten over the years. It’s so nice to be able to rekindle friendships and to find out where people are and what they’ve been doing.

🎓 The Class of 1972

My high school classmates had a little gathering a few years ago. Not an actual reunion, but just a get-together over dinner at one of the restaurants in my small home town. And the organizers primarily used Facebook to communicate the details to all of us. Of course, not every one of my classmates is on Facebook, but those of us who are, really enjoy it as a way to keep in touch.

I’ve written before about my home town and what a special place it is to those who grew up there. That tiny little town tucked away in the southwestern corner of Georgia. Almost in Florida, almost in Alabama, but Georgians to the core.

It’s a town so small that when I was a child, there were only two schools – the elementary school and the high school. We went to elementary school through sixth grade and then on to high school for seventh. Each grade in elementary school had only two teachers with about 25 students. And no assistants! The teachers did it all in the classroom. Including making us mind our manners. And you’d better believe that if you misbehaved in school, your mama would know about it before you got home.

Colquitt Elementary School second grade class 1961. Graduating class Miller County High School 1972.
Here we are in second grade. 1961! Weren’t we adorable?

🚶‍♀️ Small Town Living

My classmates and I, for the most part, went all the way through school together. First grade through graduation.

It was really rare for there to be a new kid in school. Usually the only new kids we ever had were when the town got a new “Georgia Power man” or one of the churches changed pastors. We were a pretty close-knit bunch and many of us have stayed in touch through the years. Lots of us even went on to college together.

However, there were a few who were more adventurous, more inquisitive, more restless than the others. They struck out on their own to explore the wider world.

Some time ago I reconnected with one of my more adventurous classmates, Michael, with the help of Facebook. I’m not sure of all the paths Michael’s journey has taken leading him to the place where he is now. I’m just content to have reconnected and to know that another of my childhood friends is leading a happy and fulfilled life.

One New Year’s Day, Michael posted on Facebook about a recipe that he and his wife had enjoyed and which, as he said, nourished his Southern roots. With his permission, I took the recipe, added a bit to it and came up with my own version – this Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup.

This would be a great recipe to serve on New Year’s Day with its peas and greens ensuring your good luck and prosperity. After all, it has all the best elements of the classic southern Hoppin’ John with a few greens thrown in for good measure. I think you’ll really enjoy this one!

🛒 Ingredient Notes

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  • Bulk pork sausage with sage – “Bulk” sausage is fresh, not in casings and not smoked. My preferred brands are Jimmy Dean and Odom’s Tennessee Pride. You’ll want one with sage for this recipe.
  • Brown and wild rice seasoned mix – Recommend Zatarain brand.
  • Canned black eyed peas – Recommend Bush’s brand.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How to Make Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup

Cook the Sausage and Vegetables

Sausage and vegetables sauteeing in a deep skillet.
  1. Heat a large deep skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook it until all traces of pink are gone.
  3. Then add one cup of chicken stock, chopped celery, chopped sweet red pepper, and onion.
  4. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any cooked on bits.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and cook until the vegetables are just crisp-tender.

Cook the Rice

Chicken stock and rice mix in a stockpot.
  1. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, stockpot, or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, place three cups of chicken stock or broth, the rice mix with its seasoning packet, and the drained (no need to rinse) black eyed peas.
  2. Bring to a boil.

Combine Sausage and Rice Mixtures

Sausage and vegetable mixture added to stockpot.
  1. Add in the sausage and vegetable mixture along with tomatoes, water, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  2. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  3. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is done.

Add Spinach

Finished soup with spinach added to the pot.
  1. Add the spinach and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  2. Garnish and serve.

🍽 Serving Suggestion

Serve the soup garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and sliced green onion. Cornbread makes a great accompaniment.

🔀 Variations

  • Substitute another leafy green for the spinach. Both collard greens and turnip greens work well. Be sure to remove any tough stems and cut the greens crosswise into strips before adding to the soup.
  • Add more spice if you like by increasing the red pepper flakes or using hot sausage.
  • Add a couple of cloves of garlic along with the onion for more depth of flavor.
  • Serve with slices of toasted bread and melted cheese on top similar to onion soup.
  • Make wheat bread or cornbread croutons to serve on top of the soup.

🧾 More Recipes You’ll Love

Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

Soup in a vintage brown serving bowl.

Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup

This Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup recipe combines the classic rice and black eyed peas from southern Hoppin' John, with sausage and loads of fresh spinach.
5 from 5 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 341kcal
Author: Lana Stuart


  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage with sage (recommend Jimmy Dean or Tennessee Pride)
  • 1 rib celery diced
  • ½ sweet red pepper chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock divided use
  • 1 package brown and wild rice seasoned mix (recommend Zatarain)
  • 31.6 ounces canned black eyed peas drained ( two 15.8 ounce cans – Bush's brand recommended)
  • 29 ounces canned diced tomatoes with liquid (two 14.5 ounce cans)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese shaved, optional
  • Sliced green onions optional


  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook until all traces of pink are gone.
  • Add 1 cup chicken stock, celery, sweet red pepper and onion.
  • Stir well, scraping the bottom to release any cooked on bits.
  • Cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a large soup or stock pot set over medium-high heat, add the remaining 3 cups of chicken stock, the rice mix with its seasoning packet and the black eyed peas.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add in the sausage and vegetable mixture along with the tomatoes, water, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is done.
  • Add the spinach and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and sliced green onion. Serve with cornbread.


  • Use bulk pork sausage, not in casings and not smoked. My preferred brands are Jimmy Dean and Odom’s Tennessee Pride.
  • Store for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Serve with cornbread or croutons.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 341kcal | Carbohydrates 31g | Protein 20g | Fat 16g | Saturated Fat 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat 2g | Monounsaturated Fat 7g | Trans Fat 0.1g | Cholesterol 43mg | Sodium 1408mg | Potassium 837mg | Fiber 9g | Sugar 8g | Vitamin A 2450IU | Vitamin C 27mg | Calcium 97mg | Iron 5mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on January 10, 2012. It has been updated with additional information.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Taste bud Heaven!!!!! I made this for New Year’s Day. I wanted a meal that would not leave me with a load of dishes, and this was perfect. I could not find brown and wild rice, so I used Zatarain’s long grain and wild rice. I had some green beans to use up, so I added them to the pot when adding the meat mix to the rice. My husband is a traditionalist, ‘black-eyed peas and cabbage’ for New Year’s, but one bite and silence, until the words, “That was good, I think I’ll have some more.” After the second heaping bowl, all I could see was a big big smile, a tummy rub as the recliner went back. I’ll be making this again for sure. Thank you for sharing this great recipe. Oh! he didn’t say another word, but the snoring spoke volumes. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    I prepared this, with minor modifications, for New Years evening meal, along with your cornbread, and it was a big hit. Thank you for making me a culinary hero. It will be a annual regular. I look forward to having this numerous times throughout the year.

  3. I love how Facebook has connected me with friends I lost touch with so long ago:-) The beauty of social media for sure! Your recipe looks and sounds wonderful! I don’t eat black eyed peas enough, but I do adore them:-) Take care, Hugs, Terra

  4. I think I could have written your story! The picture made me smile because it was so very similar to one that one of my old grade school friends posted on FB. And of YES – I too come from the time when, if you didn’t mind your manners in the classroom your mama heard about it! :) Love the peas and greens recipe. Looks like the Hoppin Johns I made for New Years which ended up with some Swiss chard in it because the chard just happen to be in the fridge and needed to be used. Really enjoyed this post!

  5. Isn’t Facebook amazing? I recently reconnected with some high school pals – w/o facebook it probably wouldn’t have happened! Love this soup Lana – so perfect for cold winter days (hoping we are gonna get some of those!) and easy enough for a weeknight!

  6. This looks like a hearty dish indeed. I’m not really a soup lover but who can resist something that screams of comfort? :D

  7. You never told us which one of those second grade students is you Lana! I’m going to take a guess…Middle row, second from the left?
    Anyway, this soup looks and sounds very tasty! I love sausage in soup!

  8. Your soup looks delicious! I know exactly what you mean about Facebook, although I find it’s nice once in a while and not every day all the time, otherwise I waste too much time on it! How awesome about your class! I only keep in touch with a few people from all my school years combined. It’s kind of sad actually.

    1. Angie – I’m so glad that I saved those class photos for all these years. We had one made every year in elementary school and I think I still have all from 1st through 6th grade!

  9. Hi Lana! I love the sweet photo of you and your 2nd grade pals :) Connecting on FB is a wonderful thing. Such a comforting soup recipe :)

  10. Okay…. I know which one you are in the picture, I know exactly who is seated next to you, I know exactly which person you are talking about when you speak of Michael, and where he is in the photo. Tell him I said hello.

    It really was pretty special to grow up like that. You have maintained contact with your friends from school much better than I.

    Miss P
    ps – do you have the photos of my classes growing up? I don’t have any of those.


    1. Miss P – you *have* to get on Facebook! If you don’t find your classmates on there, they’ll find you. Believe me.

      Sorry, I don’t have your class photos. Mama probably does :-)

  11. What a great story! It’s so rare to remain with the same exact group of people from K through HS and sometimes college. I was a new kid in town at 9, from NYC into the suburbs, which had 4 elementary schools, all which merged into one for Middle School, so loads of new people, and THEN, a town without a HS merged with us for HS, so more new people! Then there were always new kids moving in. Your formative years were so cozy and familiar – I kind of wish I experienced really small town living where everyone knows everyone!

    OK..I wrote a novel here! Sorry! LOVE that you got this delicious looking soup recipe from one of your friends who took a few steps off the beaten path in small town GA, to ride out the adventure wave. It looks to be a perfect cold weather comfort soup. Looking forward to trying it!

    1. Our experience was not so unusual for small towns during that time, but I think it’s probably the exception now. That tiny little town was such a special place to grow up in. Everybody knew everybody else – their family histories, their triumphs and tragedies and some of their secrets :-)

  12. I am sure Micheal is very happy to see your version of the soup, and yes you all look adorable, like little angels :) Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.