My husband loves black-eyed peas, so much so that he grows them in his garden. This is our favorite pea recipe. I cook them the old-fashioned way, with country ham and onions, but gave them a bit of a twist with olive oil, garlic and a little ham soup base for extra flavor. He loves them served with my homemade green tomato relish and cornbread.
The night before you want to serve the cooked peas, check through the peas and remove any stones or peas that are damaged; place peas in large bowl, cover with cold water to 2 inches over top of peas; allow to sit overnight.
The next day, rinse peas thoroughly; set aside.
In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat oil or grease; add chopped onions, ham and freshly ground black pepper; saute until onions begin to brown.
Add pressed garlic and saute for 30 seconds; immediately add peas and enough water to cover by at least 2-3 inches; bring to boil over high heat, reduce heat to low/medium-low; simmer, covered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed.
Add ham soup base and salt; continue simmering, covered, for 1 hour.
Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired. Peas are ready to serve when tender and seasoned to your liking.