2 cups dried Carolina Plantation Cowpeas
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
1/2 pound cooked ham or smoked turkey breast, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
Sea salt and black pepper
Cayenne pepper, to taste
4 cups packed thinly sliced collard greens, leaves only, stems discarded
4 medium carrots, chopped
Soak cowpeas in water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, garlic, ham and celery. Cook 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. Add drained peas, broth, salt, pepper and cayenne. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes or until peas are tender. For a thicker consistency, smash some of the cooked peas against the side of the pan and blend them into the broth. Add greens and carrots. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until collard greens are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve with thick slices of toasted crusty bread. When reheating the soup, add additional broth if needed to obtain desired consistency.