Basic Field Peas 4.000

Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

Aug 13, 2014

This method works for any type of field pea, although more mature peas (with drier hulls) will take slightly longer to cook.

Okra deepens the flavor of the pot liquor here, and the spent pods, for anyone not put off by their viscous texture, are delicious. For a meatier, richer broth, you can also add a piece of ham, salt pork or bacon to the pot, in which case you should omit the salt.

Make Ahead: The cooked peas can be refrigerated in their cooking liquid for up to 4 days.

Where to Buy: We found different varieties of field peas, shucked and unshucked, at the Takoma Park Farmers Market on Sundays (Flower of the Forest Farm), the UDC Farmers Market on Saturdays (G. Flores Produce), Crossroads Farmers Market in Takoma Park on Wednesdays (Musachio Produce Farm) and the FreshFarm Market at Ballston on Thursdays (Pleitez Produce).


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes 4 cups

  • 4 cups shelled field peas (see headnote)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or smoked sea salt
  • 5 or 6 pods okra, untrimmed (optional; see headnote)

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Combine the field peas, water and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat; arrange the okra on top, if using. Once the liquid begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low; cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender.

Reserve the okra to serve on the side, if desired, or discard it. Serve the peas warm, or transfer to a container along with their liquid; cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

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Recipe Source

From food writer Emily C. Horton.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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