• 500g black peas
  • 1kg water
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 onion 1.5g
  • 1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Chopped fresh mint and crispy bacon to garnish — optional


1 Place the black peas and water in a container and leave to soak overnight in the fridge.

2 Drain the black peas and place into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or pressure cooker.

3 Peel and halve the carrot, celery and onion and place in the pan.

4 Cover with plenty of water and a lid and place the pan over a medium heat to cook 5 If using a pressure cooker, cook for one hour on full pressure. Cool the pan, release the pressure and check the contents are ready (see No 7 below). If not, place back on the heat and cook for a further 20-30 minutes then check again.

6 If using an ordinary pan, once the contents are simmering, turn down to a low heat and stir frequently to stop the peas from catching on the bottom of the pan. The peas will take two to three hours to cook and you may need to top the water up if the mixture gets to thick and begins to catch.

7 When the peas are ready, they will be soft and squishy and the surrounding liquid an inky black colour.

8 Push the contents through a sieve with the back of a ladle into another pan to remove the skins. It will take a bit of effort to get as much pulp through the sieve as possible. The resulting puree should have the consistency of soft mashed potato. If it is too wet, place back on the stove and cook over a low heat until thickened.

Caution: The puree will spit as it reduces so wrap your arm in a towel when stirring to prevent burns!

9 Add a knob of butter and season with salt and malt vinegar to taste, then stir in the chopped mint and bacon if using.