Red Peas Soup Recipe

Red Peas Soup is a Jamaican favorite. This thick rich hearty soup is traditionally made with red kidney beans and salted pig tails. The standard Caribbean soup blend of yam, potatoes, dumplings and other veggies and herbs are added after the peas and meat are cooked.  In recent years I have taken to using different meats like smoked turkey and corned beef or leaving the meat out completely to make a vegetarian version of this Jamaican classic. 


You can use precooked beans to make Red Peas Soup but it will lack the thick rich red flavor that comes from using dried beans. If using canned beans boil meat with salt, black pepper and lots of garlic for 45 minutes to 1 hour before adding beans.


Yields 6

Red Peas Soup Recipe

30 minPrep Time

3 hr, 30 Cook Time

4 hrTotal Time

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  • 15 Oz. dry kidney beans or 1 - 15 oz. can
  • 1 lb. Pig tails or corned beef, cut up (can substitute Smoked Turkey neck)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped Garlic
  • 2 lg. carrots, chopped
  • 1 med potato, diced
  • ½ lb. yam (yellow or white), chopped
  • 1 Sm Chayote, chopped
  • Dumplings
  • 1 Stalk Escallion, chopped
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 lg. Onion, chopped
  • 1 pk. noodle soup (Pumpkin or beef flavor)
  • 1 whole Habanero pepper, uncut
  • Water - up to 2 gallons


In a large pot wash and drain kidney beans thoroughly. Add enough water to cover the beans. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1 TB garlic. Cook beans over med- high heat for 1 hour until they begin to soften. Add the smoked turkey. Add salt black pepper and lots of garlic for 45 minutes to 1 hour until beans are tender. A ham bone or 1 pound of dried, salted beef requires the same cooking time and will do just as well.

You may use canned kidney beans if you wish but, you will not have that deep rich color that is a part of traditional red peas soup. If using canned beans boil meat with salt, black pepper and lots of garlic for 45 minutes to 1 hour before adding beans.After peeling vegetables, place in a colander or large strainer in the sink and wash with cold water before cutting/ chopping. After meat has fully cooked and beans are tender, add vegetables to the pot.

Stir in water 1 cup at a time until desired thickness is achieved. Stir well, cover and let soup cook for 10 minutes. Prepare dumplings while soup simmers. After 10 minutes add the dumplings.For the finale, add escallion, thyme a pack of flavored noodle soup, hot pepper. Add more water if you like. Simmer for about 5 minutes before tasting. Add salt or black pepper if desired. Stir well and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Let simmer for 10 or so minutes before serving.

Cuisine: Jamaican | Recipe Type: Soup


Red Peas Soup is traditionally made with salted pig tails or beef. If you prefer substitute smoked turkey necks or omit meat for a vegetarian version.




red peas soup with smoked turkey neck




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