Beans are a convenient and versatile pantry staple, not to mention incredibly nutritious. So, today, we want to show you how to turn humble red kidney beans into a hearty and satisfying soup with a Caribbean twist. Our recipe is inspired by the famous red peas soup from Jamaica, a vibrant and warming dish that's as tasty as easy to make.
Head to your local Caribbean food store or well-stocked supermarket and grab some yams, Scotch bonnets, coconut milk, and red kidney beans. You'll also need a few basic soup veggies like carrots and onions, allspice, and thyme.
Preparing this Jamaican soup is as simple as stewing beans and vegetables until tender. Add all to a pot and let the soup cook for a good 30 minutes while you chill back and relax. But if you want, you can prepare a few dumplings while you wait. A classic stew pea soup is not complete without some Jamaican "spinners", cute and tasty spindle-shaped dumplings.
While the traditional Jamaican soup also includes uncured and salted meats like pork or beef, we kept only the beans to make the recipe vegan and lower in fats. Red kidney beans are also called red pea by the locals, so the two terms refer to the same ingredient. Using dried, raw beans is essential here if you want to get a rich, velvety, and purplish broth. But if you're short on time, we'll also give you the option to use canned beans instead.
Other than skipping the meat, we kept all the usual herbs, spices, and vegetables. Chillies, allspice, coconut, and thyme make the soup both warming and fresh, while root vegetables add earthy notes and a starchy texture. As for the dumplings, we replaced the classic wheat flour with rice flour for a gluten-free alternative. But feel free to use any gluten-free blend you like or stick to wheat if you're not celiac.
A generous bowl of this bean soup comes in less than 400 calories, yet it provides over 35% RDI of proteins and 60% RDI of fibres. This means you'll feel full and satiated for long, all with just a simple meal of beans and veggies. So, why not make a big batch of this Jamaican soup to keep at hand for the whole week? You'll be looking forward to dinnertime!