Ital Red Pea Soup

red pea soup

This is probably my favourite West Indian soup – I have eaten it mainly at funerals! but nevertheless it’s been so tasty and filling and really comforting. Red peas are kidney beans and this soup allows you to experiment with different vegetables – pumpkin, sweet potato, yam, butternut squash etc. The beans need soaking overnight or use a pressure cooker to cook them and save time. Kidney beans are a good source of plant-based protein, fibre and have a low glycemic index rating – all round a good, healthy bean! Every time I have eaten this soup it has had ‘spinner’ dumplings in it – which are delicious and make it a meal on its own – so I have included the little dumpling recipe aswell.

2 x cups of dried kidney beans (******soaked overnight******)
1 x onion – chopped
2 x cm of fresh ginger – grated
2 x cloves of garlic – grated
10 x cups of water
3 x spring onions – chopped (use all the green bits)
1 x sprig of thyme – or 1 x tsp of dried thyme
1 x carrot – chopped
1 x medium potato – peeled and chopped
1 1/2 x cups of pumpkin or sweet potato – peeled and chopped (however chunky you like it)
1 x cup of coconut milk
6 x All spice berries (these always remind me of my late mother-in-law 🙂 )
1 x whole scotch bonnet pepper
2 x vegetable stock cubes
salt & fresh ground black pepper

Spinner dumplings
1/2 x cup of All Purpose Flour
1/2 x tsp Salt
1/4 x cup of water
To make the dumplings –
Place flour and salt in a bowl. Add water and mix to make a stiff dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into the palm of hands to make long thin dumplings. 

Soak your kideny beans in cold water overnight. 
Drain and rinse the beans in fresh water. Now add the rinsed beans in the 10 x cups of water and bring to a vigorous boil for 10 minutes (you can ofcourse pressure cook the beans to speed up the process). Reduce the heat and simmer for a further 30 minutes until the beans are starting to soften.
Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, spring onions, thyme, carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, dumplings, coconut milk, allspice berries, vegetable sock cubes, and Scotch bonnet pepper.
Bring back to a rolling boil and then reduce heat, put lid on and cook until the vegetables are tender – let sit for 5-10 minutes. then serve – nothing else needed – just a spoon!

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