Chef John Folse's Cabbage, Black-Eyed Pea and Ground Beef Soup

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Yields: 8 Servings


In many cultures cabbage, black-eyed peas and pork are traditional fare for New Year's celebrations. Black-eyed peas are said to be a sign of good luck, and the leaves of the cabbage plant represent paper money, symbolizing prosperity. This soup is a great example of one of the interesting ways the Germans of Louisiana incorporated cabbage into their cooking throughout the New Year.


1 small cabbage, cubed

3 (15.5-ounce) cans black-eyed peas

1 pound ground beef

1 cup diced onions

1 cup diced celery

½ cup diced bell peppers

¼ cup minced garlic

1 (5½-ounce) can tomato juice

1 (10-ounce) can stewed tomatoes

1 (10-ounce) can RO*TEL®

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup sugar

1 pound pulled left-over pork roast (optional)

2 cups chicken or beef stock

salt and black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

Louisiana hot sauce to taste


In a cast iron Dutch oven, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Stir constantly to render fat while chopping to separate beef. Drain fat then add onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic. Sauté 5 minutes. Add tomato juice, stewed tomatoes and RO*TEL®. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce to simmer. Blend in cabbage, black-eyed peas, vinegar and sugar. If using left-over pork, stir in 1 pound or approximately 3 cups. Pour in stock and bring to a low boil. Reduce to simmer and continue cooking 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce. Serve hot with crackers or toasted French bread.