Basic Cooked Fresh Field Peas

Photo by Jennifer Hitchcock

Food Culture of the South

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About 3 cups

  • 3 cups (1 pound) freshly shelled or thawed field peas,
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 cups chicken stock or water, plus more as needed
  1. Rinse peas thoroughly to remove any stickiness and bits of hull. When the water runs clear, transfer peas to a large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, carrot, celery, and salt. Add enough cold water to cover peas by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam, then reduce heat and simmer gently until the peas are tender, about 15 to 45 minutes depending on their size and freshness. Add water as needed to keep the peas submerged.
  2. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning as needed. (Legumes love salt, so don’t underestimate how much they will need.) Set aside for at least 15 minutes to give peas time to absorb seasoning. Discard bay leaves, herb sprigs, carrot, and celery. You can store peas in the cooking liquid or drain them. Peas will keep covered in refrigerator for up to three days.
  • from Sheri Castle

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