ringing in the new year with soup soup

Val has a cold, or something along those lines, I’m getting over a sinus infection I got for the Holidays so I figured a spicy soup was in order. This soup has several things in it but most importantly for the new year it has black-eyed peas. The tradition of eating black-eyed peas is recorded as far back as a Rosh Hashana in Babylonia times. According to wikipedia it was brought to the South by Sephardi Jews around the time of the Civil War. Supposedly eating black-eyed peas brings luck and prosperity for the new year. Whether all that is true or not, I don’t know. I do know however, Val grew up with the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on this day and we’ve continued the tradition in some form or fashion since we’ve been married.


  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (we used a chipotle infused olive oil)
  • 1 purple onion diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Mexican oregano
  • 12 tomatoes on the vine cored and deseeded, cut into thin slices
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or more depending on when you plan on serving it see bottom of post)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 box of pasta shells
  • 1 can of kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of black-eyed peas drained and rinsed
  • salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Lightly coat the poblano peppers in olive oil (about 1/4 – 1/2 tablespoon should do it) place on a baking sheet and place them in the oven to roast. Roast them in the oven until the skin browns and pepper is puffed out. About 15 minutes. Place in a paper bag for a while to steam them. Once steamed core, deseed (some seeds are okay if you want them), and remove the skin. Dice them and set aside.

Get a large pot of water boiling to prepare the pasta. Cook the pasta al dente and drain and rinse. Set aside for later use. You can do these first to steps as you prepare the rest of the soup if you have multitasking/fast switching skills.

In a large pot over medium heat add the remaining olive oil. Once heated add the onions, garlic, Mexican oregano, and dried thyme. Cook them until the onions begin to become soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to break down. Add the tomato paste, water, veggie stock, and paprika and bring to rolling boil. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients (peppers, pasta shells, kidney beans, and most importantly for the new year the black-eyed peas). Lower heat and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Once finished eat some soup, get snuggled up on the couch, and watch the New Year’s day Twilight Zone marathon or any other TV series marathon of your choosing. And most importantly, feel yourself get zapped with good luck as your body digests the black-eyed peas!

UPDATE: After the soup sat several hours on low the shells had absorbed a significant amount of the broth. The moral of the story is, if you don’t end up eating it all once made you may need to be prepared to add in some more veggie stock, I added a couple more cups before storing it for later.

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