You can soak the black eyed peas overnight, or use the quick soak method I've outlined in the recipe, which cuts the soaking time down to 1 hour. This is also a perfect recipe for the slow cooker -- just make sure you don't add the greens until near the end to keep them vibrant green (and not dull, lifeless green which you wouldn't want for the new year anyways). Recipe adapted from Food Wishes.
Ingredients:1/2 pound dried black eyed peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 smoked ham hocks
1 ham bone (or use any pork bones)
6-8 cups water
3 cups diced ham
1-2 large tomatoes, diced
5 handfuls torn kale leaves (tough stems removed)
salt to taste
1. Rinse the black eyed peas, pick through and discard anything that's not-bean. Soak in water overnight or place in pot with water, bring to rolling boil. Turn off heat and let sit in hot water for 1 hour. Drain, discard water.
2. In large, wide stockpot, heat olive oil. Saute carrots, celery, onion on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes. Take care not to burn the vegetables. Add the garlic and saute additional 2 minutes. Add the ham bone, hocks, drained beans and water to the pot. Simmer for 1 hour.
3. Remove the hocks and ham bones. Add the diced ham and tomatoes and simmer for additional 30 minutes. Add in kale leaves and cook until leaves are done (kale leaves only require 10 minutes). Salt to taste (the ham and hocks add quite a bit of salt, so taste as you salt)