Monday 5 July 2021

Purple Pea Water

The toehr night I had quite the shock when I took the steamer off the top of the potatoes!

 It was like I was cooking them in ink! 

Above the potatoes I was steaming both Victorian Purple podded peas (but as mange tout) and some broad bean tops (easily one of the most underrated veg out there), both of which must have imparted some of their colour into the water. 

I used to work with a Bulgarian guy who used to moan about how the English cook. 

He used to ask "Why do you chuck the water away? All the Goodness there." 

Then he'd eat the water from his boiled runner beans like a soup as a starter. I think he was probably on to something. 

Other than making gravy from this water though I'm not sure what else to do with it? I suppose it could be saved as a light stock for a soup? 

Do you save the cooking liquid from things you cook?


  1. Absolutely! not a drop of vegetable stock or fat is wasted in my kitchen.

  2. Sometimes. As most veg are steamed (or eaten raw) there is a lot of coloured water for one person (and a cat) to use up. Much as I like beetroot, beetroot water tastes a bit earthy for example. When Mr B is here and roast meat joins the menu, gravy is made with veg water.

  3. Suppose you could freeze it or make ice cubes for vegetable stock with it? I have read stories of soup cauldrons in old kitchens being forever on the boil and ingredients continuously thrown in. I always say we take away the goodness from potatoes when we peel them. I think your Bulgarian friend was definitely on to something.

  4. Since I don't boil my veggies, I rarely have any cooking water! But my mother used to save potato water for bread making mostly or she would cook it down & freeze it in cubes for soup.

  5. Add the outer pods from broad beans to any stock you make, especially vegetable stock - gives a great flavour!
    Michelle in Wellington, NZ.

  6. I cool my water from boiling veggies and use it to water my garden. I have always used the same rule as compost...if I can compost it, the cooking water can be used!

  7. my gran fed us cabbage cooking water for stomach upsets. if you had been vomitting, once you stopped you got cabbage water for 2 days and then other foods added in but still with a mug of cabbage water. She also added the juice from the sauerkraut crock and turmeric. cabbage, beetroot and feverfew cured everything in our house. sprained your ankle? all puffy, use big dark green leaves from a savoy cabbage bruise them with a wooden spoon and use them as a compress tied on to your ankle. anti inflammatory.

  8. I do not save it but I am thinking I will now or either water my garden with it as per Amanda Rose's comment above! What a good idea. Just found your blog and I am enjoying it very much!


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