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"Common Man" Purple Hull Peas and Okra

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These Southern purple hull peas are the business! They are tasty, comforting, and an eating experience all in one making them that side dish you want on the Sunday dinner table.

This dish falls somewhere between a stew and gumbo. The presence of fresh okra, provides that thickness and consistency the ancestors would be proud of. The smoked neck bones provide a deep hit of smoke and soul, while the peas are the star!

When it comes to southern or soul food cooking, purple hull peas are a staple ingredient. Also known as black-eyed peas, these small, Southern peas are often used in soups, stews, and rice dishes. Purple hull peas are especially popular in soul food, where they are often cooked with ham, bacon, or salt pork for added flavor.

In addition to being delicious, purple hulls are also nutritious. They are a good source of fiber, protein, and vitamins, making them a healthy addition to any diet. So next time you're in the mood for some comfort food, be sure to try a dish made with purple hull peas. You'll be glad you did!

peas in a pot with peppers, okra, and neck bones

Mood Music

This is as far from high brow food as it gets. This is food for the soul that every common man and woman can appreciate!

Purple Hull Peas and Okra Ingredients

How To Cook Peas and Okra (Step by Step)

Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the neck bones and brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.

Add onions and saute 3-5 minutes. Add celery and garlic for another minute. Add a quarter of the spice mix (paprika, all spice, salt, and pepper). Mix well with a slotted spoon.

Add the diced bell pepper plus a bit more of the spice mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then add okra and mix well.

Add the bay leaves, fresh herbs, beans, stock, and cold water, plus more of the seasoning. Mix well then add the neck bones back to the pot. Bring everything to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes depending on your desired texture. 

Remove the herbs and their stems. Five minutes before finishing add the vinegar. Stir and serve the cooked peas.

bowl of peas and okra with peppers

I’ve only ever seen frozen or fresh purple hull peas so not sure dried is an option. 

Black-eyed peas can be used in place of purple hull peas. If you use dried peas, you’ll need a longer cooking time, even after soaking them.

You can dice your okra or include them whole minus the hard stems. The okra is meant to be a thickener, but if you prefer to enjoy the great texture and flavor of the okra add it to the pot later in the cooking process.

Make sure you add enough water to cook the peas. For creamier peas cook the peas longer.

For best results, season as you go at every step. You'll end up with more depth of flavor.

Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock.

Adding country ham hock to peas is the Southern way. Most if not all Southern cooks use them to flavor fresh field peas for extra flavor. Smoked turkey neck or other turkey pieces make for a good substitute for smoked pork.

Time permitting, make an infused vinegar and use in place of the plain vinegar. Infused vinegar adds an extra level of flavor at the end and also helps the dish pop. Vinegar as a finishing touch to a long simmering dish like beans or collard greens is a flavor hack to brighten the dish. Infusing vinegar is a simple as heating vinegar in a sauce pan and then adding it to a glass jar with fresh herbs.

Enjoy these on New Year's Day for good luck. Hey it's a Southern tradition!!!

Pair these with macaroni and cheese and collard or turnip greens for family-style soul food serving. 

Serve the peas and okra with a glass of sweet teabraised pork neck bonesfried chickenbaked BBQ ribs, or broiled jerk salmon. Also consider any of these popular soul food meat dishes.

These are primarily served as a side dish. However for me, I like to serve these over white rice in a big bowl as a main dish topped with hot water cornbread. I add sides like roasted purple potato fries.

Checkout my okra guide for other ways to cook okra.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Making Purple Hull Peas

Are Purple Hull Peas The Same As Crowder Peas?

Crowder peas and purple hull peas are both part of the family of field peas (also called cowpeas) which were so named because they were grown as a rotational crop in the fields instead of in kitchen gardens. Many different types were grown in the South hence you hear them referenced as Southern field peas.

Where Can I Buy Fresh Hull Peas?

I typically find fresh hull peas at my local farmers' market. During the early fall season, you might also find them in a specialty grocery store.

Similar Recipes

Southern Blackeyed Peas

Fried Blackeyed Peas

Blackeyed Pea Falafel

Blackeyed Pea Soup

Black-eyed Peas and Collards Curry

Jamaican Rice and Peas

making this soul food recipe

Southern purple hull peas are delicious beans that can be cooked in a variety of ways. In this recipe, we’ve slow-cooked them until they are soft and then combined them with spices and smoked ham hock to create a tasty side dish. If you want to try something different, you could also fry the peas in some bacon fat for extra flavor. Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think!

If you make this Southern Purple Hull Peas recipe or any other recipe please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

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Southern Purple Hull Peas

Southern comfort in the form of slow-simmered purple hull peas with fresh okra and smoked pork neck bones. This is soul food!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: southern
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 341kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Purple Hull Peas
  • ½ pound fresh Okra
  • 1 medium Bell Pepper diced
  • 2 tablespoon Ghee clarified butter or olive oil
  • 1 pound Smoked Pork Neck bones
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 ribs Celery diced
  • 1 med Yellow Onion diced
  • ½ tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon All Spice
  • 2 whole Bay Leaves
  • Mix of Fresh Herbs oregano, sage, or parsley
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup Water or more to cover peas fully
  • ¼ cup Vinegar

Instructions

  • Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the neck bones and brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.
  • Add onions and sauce 3-5 minutes. Add celery and garlic for another minute. Add a quarter of the spice mix (paprika, all spice, salt, and pepper). Mix well.
  • Add the diced bell pepper plus a bit more of the spice mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then add okra and mix well.
  • Add the bay leaves, fresh herbs, beans, stock, and water, plus more of the seasoning. Mix well then add the neck bones back to the pot. Bring everything to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes depending on your desired texture.
  • Remove the herbs and their stems. Five minutes before finish add the vinegar. Stir and serve.

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 1079mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1005IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 6mg
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Recipe Rating




Loreto and Nicoletta

Monday 12th of July 2021

This is comfort food at its warmest. The use of the neck bones I am sure brought so much flavor to the whole dish. Wonderful combo with the peas and okra. We have never had hulled purple peas. Very curioys. Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish!

Natalia

Monday 12th of July 2021

I love comforting recipes a lot and this sounds like one I would really like trying. Thanks for sharing!

Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer

Sunday 11th of July 2021

Oh this is such a great farmers market summer recipe! Such a great recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!

Kate

Sunday 11th of July 2021

My kind of food! Delicious and nutritious. This okra purple hull peas and okra looks so delicious, I cant wait to make my own.

Amanda Dixon

Sunday 11th of July 2021

This was absolutely delicious! It was so hearty, and the smoked pork neck added an amazing depth of flavor.