In a soup pot, brown chopped bacon until crisp.
Add chopped celery, onion, and bell pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to slightly brown. You may need to increase the heat.
Add garlic, bay leaf, black-eyed peas, water and seasonings.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour until peas are tender. It could take up to 1 ½ hours.
Serve over rice or as is.