Slow Cooker Black Eyed Pea and Greens Soup

by DanicasDaily on January 30, 2014

I will be the first to admit that I absolutely love Southern Food ~ Black Eyed Peas, Smoked Ham, Greens, Grits (not boiled peanuts though!) ~ You name it and yes, I am 100% a California Girl.  I can’t help it ~ you can maybe blame it on the fact I grew up in the county on the farm.  This may be the reason I am going to tell you all that this Slow Cooker Black Eyed Pea, Ham and Greens Soup is hands down one of the best soups I’ve ever made.

I love that fact that it is so simple to make ~ as in I am pretty sure it doesn’t get much easier than this.  Simply put everything in the slow cooker, turn it on low and let it cook all day making your house smell amazing as soon as you walk in the door.

The smoked ham shank (my preference over ham hocks because they are lean) adds this bacon like flavor and the creamy, black eyed peas soak up all that bacony goodness.  The veggies add a nice crunch to round out this soup that is total southern comfort in a bowl no matter where you live!




  • 2 cups dried black eyed peas
  • 1 smoked ham shank
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 oz. diced tomatoes with garlic, un-drained
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig or 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay or Cajun seasoning
  • 32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth, plus additional water to fill slow cooker
  • 2 cups kale, roughly chopped


1.  Soak, drain, sort and rinse black eyed peas according to the packaged instructions.  I used the quick soak method where you boil for 2 minutes, let sit for an hour, then, drain, rinse and use.

2.  In a 5 quart slow cooker, add all the ingredients, except the kale.  Add additional water to bring the soup to 1 inch from the top of the pan.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. 

3.  Remove the ham shank, bay leaf and thyme sprig.  Add the kale and any diced ham from the shank if using to the slow cooker.  Cook for another 10 minutes until kale softens.  Enjoy!

Makes 8 heaping 1 1/4 cup servings, 100% Simple Start/Simply Filling, 5 points+ per bowl

Nutritional information per serving calculated at



In my slow cooker soups, I prefer using dried beans because the texture holds up better during the long cooking process.  That being said, you could easily use 2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed to save time and make this recipe even easier to make.


After quick soaking my beans, I used half the package and froze the other half of the par-cooked beans for another time.


Layer up everything in the slow cooker starting with the smoky ham shank which gives a delicious bacon flavor to the soup and the beans.


I chop all my veggies into big chunks as they stay crunchier and make this soup nice and hearty.


Toss in the veggies, diced tomatoes, herbs (you can use dried, I had fresh on hand so I went with it) and your Old Bay seasoning for that spicy, southern kick Open-mouthed smile


In this recipe, I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth because the ham already has quite a bit of salt in it.  I also omit adding any salt & black pepper until the end because you will find you do not really need it.  It’s always easier to add in salt, but, not so easy to take it out.


I filled the rest of the pot with water as the beans will soak up some of the broth as they cook.


After cooking on low all day long, there is just enough room to put the finishing touches on the soup.  Remove the ham shank, thyme sprig and bay leaves (although The Husband says you will have a lucky day if you get it in your bowl – his mom always told him that so sometimes that’s my out if I have a forgetful brain!)


Add in the chopped kale to wilt it and cook.


Along with about 3 ounces of the diced ham shank.  Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.


Makes one huge pot of Black Eyed Pea, Ham and Greens soup that tastes so good your family will think you worked hard all day at cooking it! Winking smile


I actually think this soup gets better with each bite and each day that it sits as the flavors meld together.  I love the crisp bite of the veggies with the sweet kale, creamy beans and how the ham makes this soup taste like bacon.


Thank you all for the well wishes this past week ~ I definitely think you helped me get better!  I am happy to say I am finally on the mend and getting better each day.  I hope to be back into the swing of things mostly by this weekend.  I have a fun giveaway lined up for you all coming up too!

Have a fantastic day and I will catch up with you all soon.

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