• 8 ounces dried black-eyed peas
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 ounces cooked, smoked lean ham, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 fresh serrano chile pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

Directions:

1. Rinse black-eyed peas with cold water. In a large saucepan, combine peas and the 4 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or, in a large saucepan, combine black-eyed peas and the 4 cups water. Cover and let soak in a cool place overnight.)

2. Drain and rinse peas; drain again. Return peas to saucepan. Stir in the 2 cups water, ham, onion, and salt. If desired, stir in carrot and serrano pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer about 1 hour or until peas are tender.

3. Stir in undrained tomatoes. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes (most of the liquid should be evaporated). Makes 6 (2/3-cup) main-dish or 8 (1/2-cup) side-dish servings.

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