"I love to start with a classic soup base of onions, celery and carrots, before throwing in potatoes, black-eyed peas and smoky ham hock," says Sunny Anderson.

Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 cups chopped Vidalia onion
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (about 4 large)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black-eyed peas, liquid included
  • 1 (1-pound) smoked ham hock
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • ⅛ tsp. ground clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 cups dark beer, such as stout
  • 1½ cups ditalini or elbow pasta
  • ½ cup chopped parsley


Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes

In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, add onion, carrots, celery, turnip, potato, black-eyed peas, ham hock, mustard, clove, bay leaf, thyme, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and beer. Stir to combine, and fill pot with enough water to cover ingredients by an inch.

Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir, then cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until ham hock is tender, about 1 hour, skimming foam from top. Remove from heat. If soup is too thick, add water to loosen. Season with salt to taste. Remove ham hock to a plate to cool. Once cool, remove as much meat as possible and chop. Return meat to pot and discard bone and skin.

Add pasta and return soup to a boil. Cook, stirring, until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf and serve soup warm with parsley sprinkled on top.


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