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Spicy-Smoky Black-Eyed Peas

Spicy-Smoky Black-Eyed Peas Related:   gluten-free, low-fat, North America, pareve, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat, vegan, vegetables & legumes, vegetarian

Prep time: Overnight soaking + 15 minutes

Cook time: Approx. 2 hours

Yield: About 8 cups, or 8 side-dish servings

Traditional flavors of tomatoes, onions, and garlic meet nontraditional smoked salt and chipotle pepper for a spectacular smoky and spicy vegetarian version of black-eyed peas—a symbolic Rosh Hashanah food in some Sephardic Jewish communities. A dollop of labneh (optional) nicely unites the flavors and nods to the stew’s Middle Eastern roots. Serve as a side dish, or for a main course, serve over rice or polenta.


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • Smoked coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 14.5-ounce can no-salt added diced tomatoes with juices, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 large chipotle chile pepper in adobe sauce, minced, with ½ tablespoon of adobo sauce
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, soaked in cold water overnight, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced for garnish (optional)
  • Labneh or sour cream (optional)


  • In a large Dutch oven, heat a layer of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and season lightly with smoked salt and black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, tomatoes, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, black-eyed peas, 1¼ teaspoons smoked salt and black pepper to taste. Add water to cover by ½ inch. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 2 hours until beans are tender, adding water if needed to slightly cover the beans. Remove from heat and taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Garnish servings with a sprinkle of sea salt, and if desired, with scallions and/or a spoonful of labneh or sour cream.
  • *Note: Before letting the black-eyed peas soak, remove and discard any discolored, shriveled or broken beans plus any pebbles or other matter.

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