RECIPE #13: Jamaican PEAS SOUP

9 Mar

A few posts ago I cooked the rice and peas recipe. In that recipe I mentioned the fact that I wasn’t sure why Rice and Peas were called Rice and Peas since it is made with kidney beans.  Well turns out that in Jamaica, traditionally kidney beans are known as kidney peas.  Anyway, I went searching through The Cookbook looking for something completely different and found a Red Peas Soup recipe, but unfortunately I didn’t have any kidney beans. So I switched it up and made just a Peas Soup with Gungo Peas or as you will find it in the supermarket Pigeon Peas!

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 2 cups red peas
  • 2lb shin of beef
  • 1/2 lb salted pig’s tail
  • 10-12 cups of water
  • 1lb yellow yam or other hard yam cut into pieces
  • 2-3 cocos
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour dumplings
  • 1 whole hot pepper
  • 3 slices hot pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 stalks scallion, crushed
  • 1 spring thyme
  • black pepper
  • salt

Put the peas and meats in a large pan with the water and bring to the boil.  reduce the heat cover and allow to cook until the meats are tender.  This should take about 2 hours.  Crush some of the peas with a large spoon or fork, then add the yam, cocos and dumplings.  Season the soup with the whole and sliced hot pepper, garlic scallion, thyme and a little black pepper.  cook until the yam and cocos are soft, adding more water if necessary.  Taste for salt.  Be Careful not to break or cut the pepper when you are stirring the pot.

O.K. here is what I did.

First, I must say, this was possibly the most difficult recipe for me to get together.  For some reason all of the ingredients just would not work with me.  Seriously drama from start to finish.

Shopping for the ingredients, I realized I had no idea what a yellow yam looked like, and when I went into the supermarket this is what I saw. Image

There were so many different types of YAM! I gave up after going to 2 supermarkets and getting very confused.  My mom kept saying “it’s the long one, that looks like a branch.” (She refused to come to the supermarket with me)

Yeah… ok…I just bought potatoes.. LOL

Anyway, like I said before, I used pigeon peas instead of kidney beans, because we had the dry ones in the house already. I Soaked the peas with the pigs tail for a while.  The dry peas have to get soft and just boiling them will not get them as soft as I needed them at the end. So I soaked everything for about an hour before I boiled them.


Now, don’t be discouraged by the pigs tail.  It is just pork and the favor is really good. I couldn’t find the salt beef, so I only used the pigs tails.

Then, I began trying to roll out the dumplings. I mixed flour and some salt together and added water. Of course, this was my second hiccup.  I ran out of flour! My mother laughed, she said she has never run out of flour, obviously all of my cooking is using up items we previously barely used.  So, I was supposed to make firm little dumplings. But, instead mine came out as sticky little dumplings. Whatever… I just threw them in.


I added in the diced potatoes and the rest of the ingredients, minus those dam yams, and brought everything to a boil.


I simmered everything for about 2 hours, until the potatoes were soft and I could crush a few peas on the side of the pot. Then I served it up.


Yum! Can’t wait to make this with the yam, next time I will ask. In some markets they will cut it open for you and you can see if it is yellow inside.  Those are yellow yams. But the flavor was good. I think I would add less peas next time, but you can add or remove peas to your taste. My dad loves peas, my mom not so much. They both agreed that the flavor was great regardless.

The dumplings came out fine as well, I would make sure to make them smaller and next time check to make sure I have enough flour.

This is dads bowl, notice the size of his compared to ours! LOL






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