How To Make Jamaican Red Pea Soup

Photo Credit: Cook Like  A Jamaican.
Photo Credit: Cook Like A Jamaican.

A bowl of red pea (called kidney beans in other places) soup is a delight for any Jamaican. It is traditionally served as a family dinner on a Saturday.

Today, one would be hard pressed not to find it on the menu at any Jamaican restaurant. The combination of its rich ingredients makes for a healthy and sumptuous meal that anyone wouldn’t dare to ignore.

Now, here is how this meal of thick and flavorful soup chock full of meat, starchy vegetables and spinners (dumplings) is prepared:


3 cups of kidney peas (beans) soaked overnight in water or 2 cans of peas (kidney beans)

1 1/2 liters of water

2 regular onions

1 lb. stewing beef

2 scallion (spring onions may be used as a substitute)

2 carrots

2 teaspoons of dried thyme

1 hot pepper (ideally scotch bonnet)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper (ground)

1/2 lb. potatoes

1/2 lb. yam

1/2 cup coconut milk

Flour, water and a pinch of salt to make dough for spinners

Optional ingredients:

Pig’s tail or ham hock
Chicken back


1) The use of fresh, dried red peas (kidney beans) may be best soaked in water overnight. Place the beans (including the water they were stored / soaked in) in a large saucepan and add the water.

2) If you are using pig tails, then place it in bowl, cover with water and soak overnight in fridge to remove excess salt.

3) Chop the hot pepper, potatoes, onions, scallion, yam and carrots in to small pieces.

4) Mix flour and a pinch of salt with water until it has the consistency of dough. Pinch off a small amount of the dough and roll it in your hands to make a “spinner”. Add the spinner to the pot, repeat until you run out of dough.

5) Add the rest of the ingredients. Let simmer for one more hour.

6) Serve in a bowl.

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