It’s not often that you’re perusing the bulk bin section of the grocery store and come up surprised by legumes, unless the handle sticks, but I recently was in just such a situation where I found something from a familiar-to-me part of the state.

purple hull peas heritage farms norway sc

These dried purple hull peas hail from Heritage Farms in Norway, South Carolina. That’s right, Norway. It’s before Denmark and also near Finland, and Sweden — where the country club is, by the way. But I obtained them from 14 Carrot Whole Foods in Lexington, my favorite place to go for bulk grains, beans, spices, and snacks. They hung out here in the house for a while, because I had an insane spring. March was full throttle with Soda City Suds Week and the whole month of April I spent going on job interviews, six overall. It’s kind of stressful to be your best self six times over, but I ended up taking a job in corporate communications that I’ll be going to at the end of this month! But enough about that, let’s discuss these legumes.

I was originally going to make a bean salad with this, cutting up all of the vegetables while the beans danced about within the confines of the pressure cooker, softening quickly with the intense blast of steam. Too quickly, it turned out, as once a sufficient amount of pressure had left the pot, I found that the pea skins had burst off and were floating at the top, leaving behind mushier peas than I needed for a salad.

I quickly changed gears and pulled the food processor out and decided that if my peas were going to be mushy, they were going to be pureed into a purple pea hummus. This recipe is based on this one, which is pretty much the same as every other hummus recipe in existence. I found that it’s less sweet than chickpea hummus and definitely less earthy (dirt-y, you know how some black eyed peas just taste like dirt) than black eyed pea hummus. The smoked paprika adds the perfect hint of well, smoke, to it, nicely complementing the purple hull pea without overwhelming it.

purple pea hummus

Purple Pea Hummus


  • 1 cup dried purple hull peas (you could also use frozen ones here, I’ve seen them at Bi-Lo)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Cook the purple hull peas in your favorite manner, making sure to soak them for a while beforehand to lessen the cooking time. I used a pressure cooker and kept them in for 15 minutes.
  2. Once the peas are done, drain the liquid off and put them in a food processor or blender. Reserve a handful for garnish if you’re feeling fancy. Add the remaining ingredients except the olive oil.
  3. Turn on the food processor, and slowly pour the oil in through the chute so that it easily emulsifies with the puree. Add more as needed until it reaches desired consistency.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a dash of smoked paprika, and reserved peas if desired; plus pita chips, crackers, or vegetables of choice.