Quick Black-Eyed Pea Soup


If you like a hearty bowl of ham and beans, you’ll like this ham and bean soup with a southern twist. 

Lorna Sass is a highly acclaimed expert on pressure cookers. Her  cookbook Cooking Under Pressure is the first pressure cooker cookbook I bought. This recipe is adapted for the electric pressure cooker from Cooking Under Pressure.


My mom cooked ham and beans fairly often growing up. This southern style ham and beans substitutes black-eyed peas and okra. Black-eyed peas cook in only 10 minutes in the pressure cooker and the okra thickens the soup without using any additional thickeners.

It’s a quick, inexpensive meal. If you’re having ham for Easter, save your ham bone to make the soup.

Quick Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Quick Black-Eyed Pea Soup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 smoked ham hock (optional)
  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 10 ounces frozen (defrosted) slice okra
  • Tabasco or cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  • Salt


  1. Select Sauté and add the oil to the pressure cooker pot. When oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Add the peas, broth, and ham hock (if using). Lock lid in place, select High Pressure, 10 minutes cook time and press start. When timer beeps, turn off pressure cooker, and do a quick pressure release. When valve drops carefully remove lid.
  3. Remove the ham hock and add the carrots and okra. Cut off the meat and stir it into the soup along with the Tabasco (if using) and salt to taste. Simmer until the carrots and okra are cooked 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust the seasonings if necessary. (I added about a teaspoon of salt and a 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.)


Adapted for the electric pressure cooker from Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass



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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Gianni Robinson says

    Happy New Year 2015! I’m going make this as traditional mom requires it every new years day. I have a question. l have seen other pressure cooker recipes that soak and rinse the peas over night or at least a few hours and pressure cook for 30 minutes but your directions only say 10 minutes. Is there something I missed?

    Thank you and Happy New Year

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Hi Gianni – I think you’d end up with super mushy black-eyed peas cooking them for that long, especially after soaking. I did some checking about soaking http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/929862 – they said not to soak, and also consulted Hip Pressure’s timing chart and she recommends an even shorter cook time. So I think you’ll be happy with my recommended cook time, but if you wanted softer peas, you could certainly lock the lid again and cook them a bit longer. Happy New Year to you too!

  2. Em anne says

    I would love to make this. I’m new to pressure cooking. I have a Instant Pot and when I made beef stew I added about 3 cups of gravy. When it was done I opened the release valve to let the pressure out. Along with the steam the gravy was spitting out. I assumed I added to much liquid.I’m concerned about adding the 6 cups of liquid this soup calls for.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      If liquid is coming out of the valve you should wait for the pressure to release naturally – close the valve and turn off the pressure cooker. I’ve found with the pressure cooker off, the pressure will usually release within 10 minutes.

      Probably the amount of liquid you used in the gravy wasn’t what cause the problem, it was the thickener in the gravy which caused it to foam. It’s best to add thickener after you’re done pressure cooking.

      You shouldn’t have a probably using the 6 cups of chicken broth called for in this recipe.

      Thanks for the great question.