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Red Pepper and Carlin Pea Stew

by Tin and Thyme

Serves 4


250g dried carlin peas

2 bay leaves

2tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil

1 large red onion – finely chopped

3 sweet red peppers – deseeded and cut into slices

6-8 sprigs fresh thyme

1 large clove garlic or 2 smaller ones – finely chopped

1 small to medium red chilli – finely chopped and seeds removed if liked

400g tomatoes (about 10 medium sized) or a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

2 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (I used sherry vinegar)

1 tsp fermented barley grains or ½ tsp miso


Peas can be covered in boiling water and left to soak for an hour, but try for a longer cold soak if you can. I aim to soak mine for 24 hours. Bay leaves not only give flavour to the peas as they cook, but they are said to reduce flatulence in pulses and make them more digestible. Sometimes I'll use a piece of dried kelp seaweed instead. This is meant to have a similar effect.


Rinse the peas well and pour into a saucepan. Cover with cold water, add the bay leaves and bring to the boil. Simmer with the lid on for about 45 minutes or until the peas are soft but still whole. Drain, reserving some of the liquid and remove the bay leaves.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, fry the onion gently in the oil for ten minutes or until it's soft, but not turning brown. Add the peppers, cover with a lid and cook gently for five minutes or so.


Add the thyme, garlic and chilli and cook for a further five minutes with the lid on.

Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pan along with the smoked paprika, salt and vinegar. Cook with the lid on for ten minutes.

Add the peas and a tablespoon or two of the cooking water. Cover and simmer for ten minutes. If the mixture looks a bit dry, add more of the cooking water.

Once the stew has stopped simmering but is still hot, stir in the fermented barley or miso. If using miso, you’ll need to mix it with a little hot water before adding it to the stew. Adjust seasoning as desired and serve with barley, quinoa, rice or crusty bread. A spoonful or two of yoghurt works well too.

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