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It’s the time of year that most of us are focused on getting healthy and making healthier options when it comes to how we eat. I’m on the healthy bandwagon, so to speak, because after an onslaught of delicious, but not so healthy, food from Halloween all the way through to New Years, it’s only natural to gravitate towards different foods. Soups have always been on top of my list when it comes to making a better choice that’s both filling and satisfying. I made this Red Peas Soup that is inspired by the Jamaican Red Peas Soup which is absolutely amazing. For me, soup is always a great choice, and can get a bit messy with all the slurping… at least for me. Vanity Fair® Extra Absorbent Napkins come in handy for those little spills during mealtime, because even grownups can be a bit messy at times.

The first time that I had Red Peas Soup was at a friend’s house many years ago, and I was blown away by how flavorful it was.  The red peas in Red Peas Soup is actually kidney beans – that’s how it’s referred to in Jamaica. Back then, I was not a fan of kidney beans, so my expectations for this soup were low, but I always give foods that I don’t particularly like multiple chances before giving up on it. I’ve also learned that sometimes you may not enjoy a particular ingredient prepared one way, but may love it when cooked differently. I loved the depth of flavors and all of the goodness that was in that bowl of soup.  There was sweet potato, beef, salted pigtail, spinners (dumplings), and lots of fresh herbs and spices, it was undeniably good!

My version is a bit different, but inspired by the original. I used sweet potatoes and pigtails and, in the essence of time, canned kidney beans. Now, it’s definitely better when done with the fresh beans that are soaked overnight, but it’s also great with canned beans. Be sure to use dark kidney beans for this recipe as it has a richer color and flavor. This soup can be made vegetarian or vegan, but even if you eliminate the meat, it would still be filling and satisfying and fingerlicking good.  And when you’re done licking those fingers, be sure to give them a good wipe with Vanity Fair® Extra Absorbent Napkins.   These napkins are great for everyday use and are super absorbent, which makes cleaning up fairly easy.

One of the best parts of the soup, for me, is the spinners or dumplings that can be found throughout the soup. I must admit that I’m a bit biased as I am a lover of any type of dumplings, and also seek out those delicious bites in soup.  Spinners are Jamaican style dumplings, which are denser than Guyanese dumpling or duff. The Red Peas Soup has a ton of flavor so these simple dumplings don’t compete with the flavors, but simply complement them. I thoroughly enjoyed this soup, and my Jamaican husband approved!

Get the Recipe RED PEAS SOUP


  • 1 ½ cups kidney beans, canned or soaked overnight
  • 2 pig tails
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, boniato cut into small cubes
  • 8 pimento berries
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • About 10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 hot pepper, seeded
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 8 cups water + ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt


  • To make the soup, boil pigtails in water to remove the salt then repeat process twice, using fresh water each time.
  • In a large pot add beans, pigtails cut into bit sized pieces, carrot, sweet potato, pimento, onion, garlic, scallion, thyme, hot pepper, black pepper and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer until the peas are tender and a bit mushy.
  • To make spinners place flour, salt and water in a bowl and mix to form a stiff dough then pinch off small pieces of dough and roll between palms to form an elongated spinner.
  • Add spinners to soup and then cook for an additional 10 minutes
Cuisine: Jamaican
Course: Soup
Author: Jehan Powell