Vegetable DishesCooking EquipmentMeat DishesFruitsDesserts & SweetsFood IndustryBreakfast FoodsBeveragesBaked GoodsGrains DishesDining OutSpices & SeasoningsAppetizers & SnacksSauces, Condiments, and PreservationSpecial DietsDairy & Eggs

Red Peas Soup Jamaican Kidney Beans Recipe

Updated on June 3, 2017
Cardisa profile image

Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

Red Peas Soup With Pigstail

Please rate this recipe

4.1 stars from 17 ratings of Red Kidney Bean or Jamaican Red Peas Soup

This Jamaican-style red pea soup is loved by all Jamaicans. It can be made with meat or as a vegetarian dish. In Jamaica, we call the red kidney beans "red peas," and they are used to make so many dishes. But the three dishes that the red peas are known mostly for are Jamaican-style rice & peas, stewed peas, and the infamous red kidney bean soup. Red kidney bean soup is hearty and healthy, and in some households, it is made every Saturday. I remember when I was growing up my aunt would make soup every Saturday. Some of the soup dishes were chicken soup, beef soup, gongo peas soup, and of course the red pea soup.

This version of the red kidney bean soup is made with salted pigs tail. Now I know when Rasta1, my good friend sees this article he is going "bun fiah pon me" ("burn fire on me" is a phrase we use to reject something we don't agree with. It's like burning an unwelcome letter).

In Jamaica, we just throw our ingredients together, but yesterday while I made the red kidney bean soup, I decided to take note of all the measurements for the purpose of this recipe. The other thing I want to point out is that Jamaicans love a rich, very red, red pea soup; so the redder the peas, the better. Personally, I like using the round red for my rice, peas, and soup, but I got the regular kidney beans yesterday, and they weren't that red.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb dried red kidney beans (red peas)
  • 1 lb cured/salted pigs tail (optional - omit for vegetarians)
  • 1 lb yellow yam
  • 1/2 lb white potatoes
  • 1/2 lb cocoyam
  • 1 cup flour and 4 tablespoons cornmeal (for making dumplings)
  • pinch of salt for dumplings
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pimento seeds
  • 1 green scotch bonnet pepper
  • a very large pot
  • water

The following are optional for flavor

  • 1 Maggi noodle soup mix
  • or a Grace noodle soup mix
  • or 1 teaspoon coarsely ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground coriander seeds (my preference)

Method:

  1. Make sure there are no foreign bodies in your peas. Wash carefully and pour 4 to 6 cups of water along with peas in a large pot. We use what we call a dutch pot, it's similar to the ancient kettle pot but without the handle and the feet.
  2. Put your peas to boil on medium high, add smashed garlic and pimento seeds and cover pot. Let peas boil for about 20 minutes than add another cup of tap water (we call this sinking the peas). As the peas boil and the water is reduced add more. Keep checking the peas so you know when they are tender but nut fully cooked.
  3. While the peas is being cooked put 3 cups of water to boil. Cut your pigs tail into chunks (cut them in the joint) and wash them briefly under running water. Don't cut them too small or too big. When the water boils place pigs tail in a heat proof container and pour on the boiling water and cover. Let sit for about half hour or until you need it.
  4. When the peas are tender but not soft, drain the pigs tail and add to peas. Let cook until both pigs tail and peas are cooked. Pigs tail should be firm not mushy. Refill water to 3/4 way in pot if needed and bring to a boil again.
  5. Peel your yam, cocoyam, and potatoes. Cut them into chunks and add to pot. Cover pot and bring to a boil again. Meanwhile make dumplings by combining flour, cornmeal and a small pinch of salt. Pour water in small amounts, using your hand bring dough together. Keep adding water until dough is formed and firm, not sticky. Kneed with heels of hand for 5 minutes then pinch of a golf ball size piece, roll to make a ball then flatten to 1/2 inch thickness and add to boiling soup. Continue adding dumplings until dough is used up.
  6. Add your washed thyme, smashed scallion and your green scotch bonnet pepper to your pot and cover. Bring to a boil then turn flames down to medium. Before adding any seasonings please taste your soup. I personally prefer without the soup mixes. I like the cumin and coriander option or plain depending on the flavor of the pigs tail.
  7. If salt is needed flavor to taste. You must let soup simmer for another 30 - 45 minutes, stirring consonantly. Don't worry if the potato has mashed that will make the soup thicker and richer.
  8. You will know when the soup is done when it is rich and thick and all the flavos have come together.
  9. ENJOY!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Red peas soup bubbling away on the stove!

This is a pot of red peas soup that's being cooked. If you look closely you will see the bubbles from the boiling soup!
This is a pot of red peas soup that's being cooked. If you look closely you will see the bubbles from the boiling soup!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Thank you Winifred so glad you and your family enjoyed this recipe.

    • profile image

      winifred 3 years ago

      i cooked jamaican red kidney bean soup .and it saw delicious.glad i found this recipe.every one enjoyed it. i like to cook it on saturdays to..its a joy when family thank you for cooking .and say it was delicious..love it..

    • profile image

      winifred 3 years ago

      i tried this recipe cooking jamaican red kidney bean soup ..esp on saturday .it's a good meal for family members..they enjoyed it to the fullest..it brings a joy into your life when they thank you and say it was delicious..i enjoyed it am happy i found this recipe.thank you .

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Heather, the scotch bonnet is the same pepper before it ripens. Thanks for the tips on the coco/taro.

    • profile image

      heather 4 years ago

      Is the green scotch bonnet a different type of pepper, or just a regular scotch bonnet that is picked before it turns red? I have a bunch of scotch bonnets in my freezer from my garden that I would love to use. Also, for those asking about cocoyams, in Canada I've seen them as "coco's" and are widely available at asian markets or west indian markets. You won't always find them at the bigger grocery stores.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Nieve1279, thyme is really a very aromatic herb and I use it in almost every thing. Thanks for stopping by.

    • nieve1279 profile image

      nieve1279 5 years ago

      loving it,i can smell that thyme on the plate from here. thank you

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Thank you 2Bsure. I hope you try this, one of my favorites!

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Another great recipe Cardisa! You spice up HubPages! Thanks

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Dardia, if you can't get all the ingredients just substitute. Use a different kind of yam and smoked or cured meat instead of pigs tail. It's gonna be okay.

      Tanks for stopping by.

    • Dardia profile image

      Darlene Yager 5 years ago from Michigan

      You just made my husband's day! He loves beans and is always looking for recipes. This looks like one I want to try. I just love soups this time of year. I hope I can get all the ingredients here. There are not a lot of Jamaican families around here. I knew one family but unfortunately, have lost touch as our families went separate ways. Claudette is a Dr and I am not sure where she practices now. Harvey was in Ohio, a basketball coach. I am not sure what Paulette and Everton are doing. I miss them they were great friends.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Thank you so much Stephanie.

      I believe when writing a recipe as an article it should include some information about the recipe. I used to just post the recipe but have learned to do it right.

    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 5 years ago from Miami, US

      This is a really cool recipe. When I make this, I am going to feel like I'm eating something really authentic :) You never know what you're getting in a restaurant, and I don't have any Jamaican friends to point me in the right direction. This hub has been bookmarked, and voted up! Also let me say that I like the way you write it as a recipe with the included photos.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Livelonger, Dasheen is another type of tuber similar to the cocoyams. The other name for the cocoyam is 'taro root'.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Genesis, you are a Jamaican at heart! Wow I made it last Saturday and am still craving it now. I can't get the flavor out of my mind. I think I'll make again this coming Saturday and update the photos here.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Cardisa: In that case, I'll opt for the humble jalapeno, which is spicy but definitely bearable. Didn't know the term 'dasheen' but it looks like we call that taro root - we can definitely get that here. Thanks for the substitution advice!

    • Genesis profile image

      Genesis 5 years ago from Canada

      Great Hub Cardisa! I just finished eating a bowl of red peas soup for lunch!! This is definitely one of my favorites...

      Susan In Canada the yams can be found in most grocery stores in Ontario as yellow yams. If in Toronto go to China Town or stop by any west indian store and they will most likely be available. They're not hard to find at all. Enjoy!

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Rjsadowski. In Jamaica we call them coco, I can't think of another name. But you can sub with a firm tuber. Use hard yams instead. Any cured/salted meat will do great. You can also add a bit of smoked meat if you like.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Livelonger. Try for a pepper that wont make the soup spicy. Our green scotch bonnet is used for flavor not heat and we don't break the pepper. When the soup is done you can remove, unless you like spicy stuff. If you can't get cocoyams you can try dasheens if you can get it. Or just use 2 or 3 different kinds of firm yams.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Ruby, 'soup's on'. I know you are just going to love it!

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 5 years ago

      Sounds good. I would love to try it. Can you use salt pork or bacon in place of the pigs tails? What are cocoyams? Is there another name for them that I might recognize?

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Looks delicious! OK, I'm a vegetarian, so I will follow your suggestion to omit the pig's tail. I'm a big bean fan, so I'm sure I will like this. Finding cocoyams will be tough, although I think I've seen them in local Asian markets. Scotch bonnet peppers are also difficult to find outside the Caribbean, although maybe habaneros can be used as a substitute (similar heat and color).

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I love soup. I've never had this kind but i love any kind of beans, so' soups on' Cheers

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Mljdgulley354, you can write on anything you want, that's what I do. This soup is one of my favorites. My fiancé loves when I make this. You can add coconut cream for a creamy texture.

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 5 years ago

      Looks like I am going to have to expand my repetoire, this looks delicious. Had to bookmark to try this weekend

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Flora, you can leave out the pigs tail or use any meat of your choice. You can use canned kidney beans for a quicker soup.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Polly, any cured meat will do or none at all. The beans are nutritious all the same.

      Polly all those smells make me want it to snow here so I'll have an excuse to bake and cook soup all the time!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      I think I'll try the vegetarian version of this even though I'm not a vegetarian. I don't know about pig's tail....

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      I love soup and I am always working on a new recipe, don't know if I could make the same one twice, lol. Like you I don't measure and I love red beans and no meat soup but never had red beans in soup, just know it will be good. I think I will leave out the pigtail though! Maybe a little bacon instead? Mom use to add bacon to cook beans. Ah when the snow starts falling and soup boiling and bread baking. It is almost heaven! Great hub, thanks so much!

      Polly

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      I got some rest. Still a little tired but doing better. Trying to take it easy so not taking on too much writing this week. Last two weeks were hectic with writing some short stories for a client.

      That story I wrote using your theme, am going to send you a copy for you to read. I wrote it for a client and he loved it.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      ..yes I was kind of concerned for you - the other day - when you said you were tired - hope you're okay Carolee.

      lake erie time 4:23pm

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Epigramman, I am honored that you would like me in your soup, that soup would be very spicy indeed....lol

      Nice to see you Epi.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      ...sounds and looks yummy Miss C - and you always present us with a world class hub when it comes to food preparation and the enjoyment of it - although to be quite honest I would prefer to have you in my soup!

      lake erie time 4:12pm

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 5 years ago

      Yup :) I can't wait to try it out :D

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Ann, thanks for stopping by. I am sure you will like this one, it's definitely the season for it.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Lobobrandon, I guarantee you will love it. You can make your own variation too.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • AnnNoE profile image

      AnnNoE 5 years ago from Roswell, New Mexico

      Hi, J.S. shared this on Facebook. This is definitely the season for soup. Voted up and useful.

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 5 years ago

      Oh I'd love to try this out.. It's been ages since I've tried red beans :)

      Will certainly give it a try this weekend - I got a whole week to get red beans!!

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Susan, just ask a Jamaican in Canada to find the ingredients for you. You may know the cocoyam by another name or you can leave it out. You can also use other kinds of firm yam if you like. Smoked meats are great to use. You can used cured beef as well.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Soup YUM! I may have a problem finding a cured pigstail but I'll asked my local butcher. The cocoyam I am not familiar with and not sure I've ever seen one. I just noticed a comment you wrote about using smoked hock. This I know I can find. This soup looks delicious. Have bookmarked it and will try to find those cocoyams. Maybe my son can find them in Toronto for me.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Sholland,

      Yes it's a very tasty soup sometimes we add coconut milk too, to make it more creamy!

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Hazelwood,

      The pigs tail is salted and cure but doesn't really have the smokey flavor. You can used the smoked hock too, that will give a great flavor!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Looks beautiful and the ingredients are interesting and tasty choices! Thanks for sharing!

    • hazelwood4 profile image

      hazelwood4 5 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

      This recipe sounds really good! Do pig tails taste like smoked ham hocks? Sounds really good! Thank you for sharing and I will look forward to reading more of your recipes!

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Will, she is going to love this. Thanks for reading.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Pamela, you can use smoked chicken or some other cured meat if you like. Thanks for reading.

    • Cardisa profile image
      Author

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi J.S., thanks for the compliment. I love fava beans. I tend to make stuff sound cultural...lol. I can't help it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I printed this one. My wife loves soup!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      This looks like a good meal except I have never eaten a pigs tail and not sure I want to. I love beans however, so I would probably try the vegetarian style.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I really like how you can weave Jamaican culture into this recipe. That is quite a talent and creates an interesting article Cardisa! I like most bean varieties and enjoy Red Kidney Beans. I also like pea soup, but the Green kind. Have you ever heard of (Portuguese) Fava Beans? They can be fried or baked and lightly salted. They are very delicious. I am sure I will enjoy your recipe. Thanks for sharing on Google+. Voting up and sharing.

      JSMatthew~