Black Eyed Peas with Collard Greens

Created by Sheana Davis The Epicurean Connection

1 pound dry black-eyed peas
1 cup chopped cooked ham (Optional)
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup white onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 cups can or fresh tomato puree
6 cups stock, vegetable, chicken, beef or water
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
2 cups collard greens, cut into 1 inch strips

In a heavy bottom soup pot, place ham, garlic, onions, celery and carrots in the pot over medium flame and saute for 5 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, chili flakes and oregano.  Add in black eyed peas, continuing to saute for 5 minutes.  Add in tomato puree, stock, reduce flame and simmer for approximately 90 minutes or until beans are tender.  When beans are tender, add in collard greens, cook until greens are tender and serve~ Enjoy!
Optional to remove ham from recipe to make a vegetarian recipe.
Serve with fresh baked cornbread and an ale~  Happy New Year!~