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    Jamaican kidney bean soup

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    Jamaican kidney bean soup

    by Riaz Phillips

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes + overnight soaking
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

    Serves: 6-8


    400g dried kidney beans or 2 x 400g cans kidney beans
    1 large white potato, peeled and cut into 2-3cm chunks
    2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-3cm chunks
    1 medium carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 salad onions (green part only), chopped
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 Scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
    400g can coconut milk
    8 allspice berries or ½ tsp ground allspice
    1-2 tsp sea salt flakes
    1 tsp crushed black pepper
    3 sprigs of thyme
    1/4 tsp garlic granules
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    1/4 tsp smoked paprika
    1/4 tsp turmeric

    For the dumplings
    100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    1 tsp polenta (optional)
    1-2 tsp creamed coconut, grated (optional)


    1. If you are using dried kidney beans, wash them, then cover with fresh water and soak for a minimum of 7 hours or preferably overnight. Rinse in a colander and then place in a large saucepan with 2.5L water. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn down to medium and simmer for 25 minutes until the beans start to become tender. If using cans of beans, see my tip below left.

    2. Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, combine the flour with a large pinch of salt and the other optional ingredients, if using, in a bowl then carefully pour in 60ml water with one hand, while combining them with the other until a dough consistency is formed. If the mix is too wet, add more flour until you can roll the dough about in your hands without leaving any residue. Once this is done, wrap in clingfilm, place in a bowl and refrigerate.

    3. Add the vegetables, garlic and whole scotch bonnet, if using, to the soup and cook for a further 25 minutes.  

    4. Remove the dumpling dough from the fridge. Tear off small pieces and roll into the size of your little finger until smooth. Repeat until all the dough is used. Remove the lid from the stew, stir in the coconut milk and all the remaining soup ingredients, then add the dumplings. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through. If you find the stew consistency too thick, add a little water as needed.

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