Place the dried black eyed peas in a large sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let boil 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them sit for an hour, drain.
In a large pot on medium heat heat the olive oil. Add the carrots, onion, bay leaves and red pepper flakes if using. Saute 3-4 minutes. Add the drained black eyed peas, veggie broth, salt and pepper to taste and water to cover the peas, approximately 3 cups. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Test for seasoning after 30 minutes. If you like a very firm pea, check at 45 minutes and remove from the heat, there will be some liquid in the pot. I cook them 1 hour exactly and you get a mushier black eyed pea with very little liquid left in the pot. Taste for salt and pepper. Add the cooked brown rice, greens and hot sauce if you like! Enjoy! Serves 4