Robb Walsh's Fresh Field Peas

Laurie Smith

Driving around East Texas in the summertime, you're sure to pass a fair share of farm stands selling all sorts of fresh beans (or peas)—black-eyed peas, cowpeas, crowder peas and fresh pinto beans. And while most of us are familiar with cooking them either canned or dried, fresh beans have a bite and freshness that's a seasonal thing of beauty.

Robb Walsh, author of Texas Eats, keeps his Fresh Field Peas simple with a soul food-inspired recipe that begins (as many good things do) with bacon. Onions are sweated in the bacon fat, and the peas are added and simmered with chicken broth, with a few pods of okra as a thickener, and a lone chile for heat. Fresh peas don't need too much time on the stovetop; just simmer until tender and serve.

What Worked: Fresh beans cooked down with bacon, a few okra pods, and chile makes for a soul-satisfying side.

What Didn't: No complaints here.

Suggested Tweaks: If you can't locate fresh beans around your parts, feel free to crack open a can or two of black-eyed peas and proceed with the recipe.

Reprinted with permission from Texas Eats by Robb Walsh. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Recipe Details

Robb Walsh's Fresh Field Peas

Active 10 mins
Total 20 mins
Serves 6 servings


  • 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 3 cups shelled fresh field peas

  • 2 cups water

  • 4 or 5 baby okra pods

  • 1 fresh chile

  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the broth, stir, and remove from the heat.

  2. Pick over the peas, rinse them, and place them in a large saucepan. Add the water, okra, chile, and the broth mixture, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the peas are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
77 Calories
2g Fat
11g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 578mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 32mg 162%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 296mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)