To infuse peas with flavor, simmer them with dried spices, which pack a more intense punch than fresh. Smoked paprika delivers the essence of ham hocks or bacon while keeping this classic side dish vegan.
Place peas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Soak overnight.
Drain the peas. Add 8 cups water to a large pot, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add bay leaves, oil, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne and the drained peas. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add salt. Discard the bay leaves.
To make ahead: Refrigerate in the cooking liquid for up to 3 days.
1 1/2 starch, 1 lean protein, 1/2 fat