Eating black eyed peas is a new years tradition at our house. It is considered a source of luck for the new year that will bring prosperity in the new year. It is also part of the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashana and has been recorded in the Babylonianian era.
The tradition has also been traced back to the Civil War. Union troops stripped the countryside of all stored food, crops and livestock and destroyed whatever they could not carry away. Northeners often considered the black eyed peas "field peas" suitable only for animal fodder and did not steal or destroy these humble foods. Southerners would cook the peas with a pork product for flavoring such as bacon, ham bones, fatback or hog jowl, diced onion, and served with hot chili sauce or a pepper flavored vinegar.
Normally collard, turnip, or mustard greens and ham. The peas swelled when cooked and symbolize prosperity, the greens symbolize money and the pork represents positive motion Served along with cornbread you have the traditional meal served at our house New Years Day
Black Eyed Peas Soup
1 pound dried black eyed peas
1 pound spicy sausage (I used some kielbasa sausage)
6 cups chicken broth
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Tabasco sauce (to taste...or omit!)
Soak your beans overnight. (This is the hardest part for me to remember...don't forget!:)) Drain in the morning. Dice the veggies, and put them into your crockpot with the beans. Add your sliced sausage and then pour in the broth, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for about 6.
recipe resource here