Rinse black eyed peas and remove any debris. Place in a bowl/pot and soak 8 hours or overnight.
In a large pot, combine ham hock, chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 60-80 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Cook onion, celery and garlic in bacon grease until slightly tender.
Add onion mixture, black eyed peas and green bell pepper to the pot and simmer an additional 45-65 minutes or until black eyed peas are tender skimming off any foam.
Remove ham hock and cut off any meat from the bone. Add meat back to the pot with canned tomatoes (undrained), salt and pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered an additional 20 minutes or until black eyed peas reach desired consistency.
Discard bay leaf, season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve over rice with greens.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)