As easy as it is economical, this hearty soup takes the chill off those first frosty days of autumn, and once everything’s in the pot, virtually cooks itself. Best of all it can be made in advance and is even better after a night in the fridge. So when friends come over to watch football, serve steaming bowls of Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards and Ham Hocks along with chewy chunks of country bread. Nothing more is needed. Note: I use country ham hocks for this soup because of their deep smoky flavor, but "packing house" ham hocks are perfectly good. Whichever you choose, make sure there's "plenty of meat on them bones." --Jean Anderson
1 pound dried black-eyed peas, washed, sorted, and soaked overnight in enough cold water to cover
1/4 cup bacon drippings or vegetable oil
3 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 large bunch fresh collards (about 1 1/2 pounds), washed, trimmed, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 1/2 pounds meaty smoked ham hocks (see headnote)
1 quart (4 cups) beef or chicken broth
1 quart (4 cups) cold water
12 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, or to taste
Salt, if needed to taste
Drain black-eyed peas, rinse well, drain again, and set aside.
Heat drippings in a large heavy Dutch oven over moderately high heat until ripples appear on pan bottom—1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Add onions and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until limp and lightly browned—about 10 minutes. Add collards and cook, stirring now and then, until wilted—about 5 minutes. Mix in black-eyed peas.
Anchor ham hocks in vegetables, add broth, water, and peppercorns, and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust so liquid bubbles gently, cover, and simmer, stirring now and then, until black-eyed peas are tender and ham all but falls from bones—1½ to 2 hours.
Note: Check pot now and then and if soup threatens to scorch, reduce burner heat to lowest point and slide a diffuser underneath pot.
Lift ham hocks to a cutting board and strip meat from bones. Add to soup along with hot pepper sauce to taste, and salt, if needed. Discard bones.
Ladle into heated soup plates and accompany with freshly baked corn bread or chunks of good country bread. Better yet, cool soup, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Next day, reheat and serve.
Recipe Excerpts from Falling Off the Bone
Ragout of Beef with Cranberries and Wild Mushrooms
Baltic Lamb and Kale Soup
Pork Shoulder Steaks Creole
We have made numerous recipes from this book and they have all been wonderful. I ended up buying my own copy after borrowing my son's. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Lynn Pernezny
I found this at my local used bookstore. The pictures are gorgeous, and the recipes seemed like they should have been really good, but the handful of recipes I tried just weren't... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Misspudding
I expected a meat book to use mroe natural products - theer are many convenience foods in the recipes e.g. take a bag of froxen brocolli.../ chopped onions. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Michael
I bought this for my husband, the chef in charge of all dinners in our house. He wasn't impressed, but
that is because he has been cooking for over 60yrs. Read more
I am disappointed in the content, it seems the recipes and almost identical aside from a couple of ingredients. Read morePublished 21 months ago by donnamarie
This is a very good and well written cook book. So many recipes that are very appealing and from varied cultures. Clear step by step preparation instruction. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Richard A. Anderson
Gorgeous pictures. Great recipe ideas for my highly carnivorous household.
The only thing is, I would highly recommend just using your judgement with regard to some of... Read more
I found several of the recipes to be a bit repetitive and sometimes a bit obviously simple, but it's still a good reference book for ideas on something new to try in in a dutch... Read morePublished on December 14, 2011 by Sisak