Red Peas Soup, a Jamaican Favorite

Author  Edited from News Americas

Soups in the Caribbean come in all kinds and flavors, some with meat and others without. They are as diverse as the people of the region. In Jamaica, red peas soup is a favorite. Here’s how you make it:

Red peas soupINGREDIENTS

3/4 lb. pig tail (cut in pieces)

 ½ lb. stew beef (cut in pieces)

 3/4 lb. red peas

 1½ pack Grace cock soup (optional)

 ½ lb. flour

 4 tbls. cornmeal

 ½ lb. yam

 ½ lb. sweet potato

 2 stalks scallion

 1 sprig thyme

1 green scotch bonnet pepper

½ lb. pumpkin

 1 small dasheen (to thicken soup)

 1 pack coconut powder

2 pegs garlic

10 pimento seeds

 ½ cup vinegar


Soak peas overnight. On day of cooking, pour vinegar on to the pig’s tail and beef and wash with water.

Boil pig’s tail for about five minutes to get rid of excess salt.

Rinse peas and place in a pressure cooker with pig’s tail and beef and enough water to cover for about 10 minutes. Remove pressure cooker from fire and check peas and meat for tenderness.

Dice pumpkin and dasheen and add to pressure cooker with meat and peas along with garlic and pimento seeds. Pour about six cups tap water in the pressure cooker and continue to boil.

Remove from heat and allow the cooker to cool, then open.

Use the flour and cornmeal to make dumplings. Peel and slice yam and sweet potato or any other ground provision you like, add to the pot. Mix the coconut cream in a cup of warm water and add to pot.

Continue boiling until all ingredients are tender. Add, cock soup, scallion, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper. Cover and allow food to cook for another five minutes. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.

Remove from heat and enjoy!

NOTE: The pig’s tail and beef can be skipped if you are vegetarian.