Red Peas Soup
This hearty soup, a favorite of Jamaican restaurants and home cooks alike, can easily pass as a stew. In fact, think of it as a chili alternative, just as thick and spicy. The dumplings are easy, and cook in the soup, but they’re entirely optional. Other versions of this soup may call for salted pig tails, but here, they’re swapped out for smoked turkey necks. Either one adds a deep smokiness. Cock-flavored soup mix, such as one from Grace, gives this soup yet another layer of flavor; you can find it in the international aisle of most supermarkets.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2cups dried red kidney beans
- 1pound smoked turkey necks
- 8cups water or low-sodium chicken stock
- 1(13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1(1.75-ounce) package cock-flavored soup mix, such as Grace
- 4garlic cloves, chopped
- 4scallions, halved crosswise
- 4thyme sprigs
- 1medium onion, diced
- 1Scotch bonnet pepper, pierced (not sliced)
- 1standard chicken bouillon cube
- 1teaspoon ground allspice
- 1teaspoon black pepper
- 1medium sweet potato or yam, diced
- 1carrot, diced
- Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)
- 2cups self-rising flour
- 1teaspoon kosher salt
Step 1Cover the dried beans with 4 to 6 cups water in a large bowl, and soak them overnight.
Step 2To a large, heavy pot, add smoked turkey and enough water or stock to cover the meat (about 8 cups). Bring to a boil and cook over medium for 30 minutes, skimming the foam from the top. Drain the beans, and return them to the pot.
Step 3Add coconut milk, soup mix, garlic, scallions, thyme, onion, Scotch bonnet pepper, bouillon, allspice and black pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium, and cook until beans are tender, 1 to 2 hours. (Add more water as needed.)
Step 4Prepare the dumplings, if using: In a medium bowl, mix together the self-rising flour and salt. Add 1 cup water, and mix until shaggy and wet.
Step 5Remove turkey from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from the bones and add back to the soup. Add sweet potato and carrot. Drop dumplings, if using, by the spoonful into the soup and cook over medium, flipping them once or twice, until dumplings and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Step 6Remove and discard thyme sprigs, Scotch bonnet pepper and scallions. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If the soup is too thick, dilute with water. Serve hot as a soup, over rice, if you like.