Rinse peas and place in a large saucepan with 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand one hour. Drain and rinse.
In same pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain off drippings, reserving 3 tablespoons in pan. Add peas, remaining water, onion, celery, cayenne peper and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes.
Add rice; cover and simmer 20 more minutes or until peas and rice are tender.