Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Carlin Pea Stew With Sweet Peppers

Sweet Red Pepper & Carlin Pea Stew

Autumn, Dinner, English, Vegan Recipes | 15th October 2019 | By

An easy to make and delicious to eat vegan autumn pea stew. It’s made with British carlin peas, sweet red peppers and the last crop of tomatoes. Serve with rice, quinoa, barley, jacket potatoes or crusty bread for a comforting and satisfying meal.

As some of you may have noted, I recently received an exciting bundle of British grown pulses and grains to try out. I found some of the contents quite intriguing, but I’m really enjoying trying everything. UK readers, you still have a chance to win the very same bundle for yourselves. The giveaway ends on 24th October.

Carlin Peas

I have to confess, that I’d never heard of carlin peas until I received the aforementioned bundle. CT tutted in his usual “how could you possibly not heard of that” fashion. But I did feel a little ashamed. Carlins also known as grey or black badgers are a very British pea. In fact, when I mentioned them, I got several comments about Carlin Sunday. Apparently eating carlin peas, particularly on the fifth Sunday in Lent, is a big thing in the North East of the country and has been for a long time.

In Lancashire, carlin peas are known as black peas and they have a very interesting way of serving them. Parched Peas, as the recipe is termed, were traditionally served on Bonfire Night and other festivals. They’re simply boiled then served with salt and vinegar, often in a paper cone. Butter may or may not be included.

Soaked carlins in a bowl.

I don’t know why, but I was surprised to find that the peas taste both sweet and nutty when cooked. Indeed, they have far more flavour than many pulses I’ve tried. The texture is pleasantly firm, so no mushy peas here. In fact they make a good chickpea substitute.

Hodmedod’s have an intriguing recipe for carlin pea brownies which I’m going to have to make at some point. As soon as I saw the lovely reddish brown colour of the carlins though, I wanted to make a red pea stew with them.

Carlin Pea Stew

So, I made my red pea stew with red onions, red tomatoes, sweet red peppers, red chillies, red smoked paprika and reddish brown carlins. The colour looks really quite appealing. Luckily, the stew tastes delicious too.

CT grew the onions, peppers and tomatoes as well as the chilli and garlic, so it’s almost a homegrown recipe. Maybe he’ll grow carlin peas next year.

Ingredients for carlin recipe - red onion, sweet red peppers, tomatoes and carlins.

Soaking Pulses

You can make this red pepper pea stew with either dried carlin peas or tinned ones. Tinned are always good if you’re in a hurry, but I recommend the dried ones. True, you need to be a bit more organised as you have to soak the peas overnight, but in my experience pulses are much more digestible if prepared this way. Plus you have more control over the texture of your peas. For this recipe it’s nice to have a bit of texture, but you can boil them for longer if you want them super soft.

If you can’t find carlins, then try using another brown pulse instead. But they’re worth getting hold of if you can.

Sweet Red Pepper & Carlin Pea Stew

Carlin Pea Stew Flavours

At one point, I thought I might add some of the quince jelly I’ve just made. But on second thoughts, I realised that the peppers were plenty sweet enough. In the end I decided to keep the flavouring fairly simple. You’ll find thyme, garlic, chilli, smoked paprika, vinegar and some fermented barley. I’m in love with the fermented barley that came in my bundle and I’m using it in all sorts of things. But, if you prefer, you can use miso or even soya sauce instead. As with most seasonings, you should adjust these to suit your own tastes.

As this recipe for sweet red pepper and carlin pea stew is for four people, we enjoyed it two nights running. The first night we served it with fluffy brown basmati rice and the second we reheated it and ate it with crusty bread. It was delicious both nights, but it was at its best on the second day as the flavours had melded and developed.

Sweet Red Pepper & Carlin Pea Stew with Rice.

The carlin pea stew is robust in flavour and hearty in substance. So it works particularly well if you serve it with bland foods such as rice, quinoa, barley or even a jacket potato.

Other Tin and Thyme Pulse Recipes You Might Like

If you’d like even more recipe ideas for pulses, you’ll find plenty on my Peerless Pulses Pinterest board.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this carlin pea stew recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Red Pepper Carlin Pea Stew – PIN IT

Red Pepper & Carlin Pea Stew

Red Pepper & Carlin Pea Stew – The Recipe

Sweet Red Pepper & Carlin Pea Stew
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

Red Pepper & Carlin Pea Stew

An easy to make and delicious to eat autumn pea stew made with British carlin peas, sweet red peppers and the last crop of tomatoes.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Soaking Time8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 30 mins
Course: main
Cuisine: British
Keyword: autumn, peas, pulses, red peppers, stew, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 337kcal


  • 250 g dried carlin peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp 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
  • 400 g 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


  • 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.


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.
Alternatively use tinned carlin peas.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.


Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 48.2g | Protein: 14.1g | Fat: 11.3g | Saturated Fat: 1.1g | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 961mg | Fiber: 13.6g | Sugar: 12.4g | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 5mg


I’m sharing my red pepper and carlin pea stew with Lost in Food for #CookBlogShare.


  1. angiesrecipes

    15th October 2019 at 4:01 pm

    I have never heard of carlin pea until now…the stew looks super comforting, satisfying and packed full of flavours.

    • Choclette

      15th October 2019 at 5:09 pm

      They’re new to me too Angie, which is quite shocking given that they’re a very British pea.

  2. Ramona

    15th October 2019 at 4:39 pm

    This recipe looks delicious – I am not sure I have had carlin pea before, I have to look it up as it might be that has got a different name around here. Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe. Perfect for the time of the year.

    • Choclette

      15th October 2019 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks Ramona. It does seem to have a lot of different names. Pigeon pea is one of them, though it’s not exactly the same as the Caribbean pigeon pea.

  3. Leslie

    15th October 2019 at 6:42 pm

    I really appreciate your recipes. They always remind me of good, home cookin! This looks so hearty and delicious. Great recipe, as always!

    • Choclette

      16th October 2019 at 7:43 am

      Thanks Leslie. Good home cooking is exactly what I’m after.

  4. Leanne - Crumb Top Baking

    17th October 2019 at 1:39 am

    I’ve never heard of carlin peas either! Isn’t that the beauty of food blogging?! Always learning something new. The peas look delicious in this stew. It’s a beautiful, rich colour and looks so hearty!

    • Choclette

      17th October 2019 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks Leanne. I’ve learnt so much since I started food blogging and I’m sure there’s still plenty more to find out. Bring it on.

  5. Kylee

    17th October 2019 at 3:11 am

    I hadn’t heard of carlin peas either! What a great recipe (and story). Need to find those peas here!!

    • Choclette

      17th October 2019 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks Kylee. It’s a bit sad that many of these old varieties of peas and beans have got lost in time. But I think there’s a move on now to bring a lot of them back.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *