Watch the Food Lab Video Series Easy Sausage, Kale, and Black Eyed Pea Soup With Lemon and Rosemary

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: Canned beans can be used in place of dried. To use canned beans, drain and rinse 1 (28 ounce) can of black eyed peas. Skip step 1 and add beans to soup in step 3, simmering for 30 minutes instead of 1 hour. Serve as directed.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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Easy Sausage, Kale, and Black Eyed Pea Soup With Lemon and Rosemary

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:1 1/2 hours, plus up to overnight to soak beans
This recipe appears in: The Food Lab: Easy Sausage and Kale Soup With Black-Eyed Peas


  • 1/2 pound dried black eyed peas (see note above)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 12 ounces mild Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large stalks celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest from 2 lemons, divided
  • 1 1/2 quarts homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch kale, trimmed, washed, and roughly chopped (about 2 quarts)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1

    Place beans in a large bowl and cover with 3 quarts of water. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and set aside at room temperature overnight. (See note above).

  2. 2

    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or potato masher until starting to brown, about 8 minutes total. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, half of the rosemary, and half of the lemon zest and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken stock and bay leaves.

  3. 3

    Drain and rinse beans, then add to pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are fully softened, about 1 hour. Discard bay leaves.

  4. 4

    Transfer 2 cups of soup to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Return to pot. Add kale and cook until tender, about 10 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately, drizzling with olive oil and sprinkling with remaining rosemary and lemon zest.

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