Purple hull peas come in a pea pod that is purple, hence the name, and you have to shell them before cooking.  My blog friend, Lyndi (@nwafoodie) blogged about them today and she has some good pictures of what they look like before they are shelled.


This morning I stopped by a farmstand on a tip from a neighbor, and the gentleman there said his wife had shelled these peas this morning. I knew I had to give them a try!


While researching how to cook them, I learned that a city in Arkansas actually has a purple hull pea festival in June every year complete with a pea cook off, and this recipe was the grand prize winner a few years back. I did a couple of things differently, based on other recipes I had seen, but I didn’t want to mess with a blue ribbon winner too much…. My kids ate every bit, too!


Purple Hull Peas


5-6 cups shelled purple hull peas

6 strips bacon

half a yellow onion, root left intact so you can remove it

1 box chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste


Cut bacon into inch-sized pieces and lightly brown in a dutch oven. Do not drain bacon grease. Add purple hull peas, onion, and stock, plus extra water to cover by one inch. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Boil over medium heat until tender (about 45 minutes). Remove onion before serving.