Easy Bacon, Black Eyed Pea and Kale Soup

A great weeknight soup that doubles as a tasty ragu over pasta or polenta.  Serve it over polenta for a nice weekend or special occasion meal.


4 slices of bacon cut into small strips

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

3 cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

1 2 x 3 inch hunk of parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed

2 cups kale, washed and torn

1 ½ teaspoon salt



  1. Stack the 4 slices of bacon and cut into strips crosswise.  Place the bacon in a large pot over medium-medium low heat. Cook the bacon until it is crisped–about 10 minutes.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, peel and chop the garlic; drain and rinse the beans in a colander, and rinse and tear the kale; and cut off a piece of parmesan cheese.
  3. Once the bacon is crisp, add the chopped garlic and cook 2 minutes.  Next add the beans, stock, water, parmesan hunk and salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat down to medium and simmer the soup for about 15 minutes.  Next add the peas and kale and cook for about 5 more minutes.
  5. Serve as a soup or serve over pasta for a quick and easy tasty weeknight meal.  



For a weekend meal or for a large group, I sometimes serve it over polenta.