Jamaican red bean soup

Jamaican Red Bean Soup

May 26, 2022 | Recipe

Jamaicans really do know how to make healthy food more exciting. This Jamaican Red Bean soup is perfect for those who want to watch their weight and are looking for a detoxifying yet hearty dish. This is our version of this delicious soup.

What is Red Bean Soup good for?

It’s common knowledge that legumes in general are good for your health. They’re a delicious addition to meals and they’re quite versatile to work with.

Red beans in general are known to improve digestion. They’re high in dietary fiber therefore it allows the food we eat to breakdown better and it increases the absorption of the vitamins and minerals of what we eat.

Red bean soup also improves our heart, bone, and skin health. It aids weight loss and finally, it is great for detox.


Why is Red Bean Soup bitter?

There could be a number of reasons why your red bean soup could go bitter. It could be the variety of the red bean that you’re using. The red bean could be sensitive to the constant washing and rinsing with water in order for it to get more tender before cooking.

Generally, most red beans contain saponins and tannins that could contribute to the bitterness of food that it touches. You could easily wash these thoroughly to lessen the bitter flavor.

Another more common reason is because of the use of baking soda in the soaking process. It’s a home hack to soak your red beans in baking soda and water overnight before cooking the beans. If you don’t rinse your beans properly after, it’s highly likely that the beans will develop a bitter taste once you’re processing soup.

How do you fix bitter bean soup?

In order to get rid of the bitterness in your red bean soup, make sure to rinse the beans thoroughly at least a couple of times before cooking. You could also remove the white pith in the middle. This reduces the possibility of a bitter soup.

If you have soaked your red beans overnight in baking soda and water, make sure to rinse the beans thoroughly.

Pressure coocker

What to do if you forgot to soak the beans overnight?

If you forgot to soak the red beans overnight (which totally contributes to the tenderness of the beans later on when cooking), you could easily whip out your pressure cooker in order to soften the beans.

You could use your classic pressure cooker or even the Instant Pot. Simply add water to the beans and close the lid. Cook under high-pressure cooker level for 5 minutes.

If you forgot to soak your beans overnight, it’s definitely not the end of the world because some people actually like cooking with beans from their dry state. It takes a lot longer for the beans to cook but you’re able to capture some of the flavors that you don’t get from soaking the beans overnight. We’re not talking about the bitter taste but some other earthy and savory flavors that come with the skin.

How long can you keep red bean soup?

Cooked food in general can last in the chiller for about 5-7 days. However, since legumes spoil faster than most ingredients, they last in the chiller for about 3-4 days while maintaining good quality.

We highly suggest that you consume your red bean soup immediately so that you can enjoy its quality at its prime.


  • Onion, Garlic-Puree

We’re using garlic-puree for this recipe because its sweetness shines through the dish together with the onion sweetness.

  • Red Beans

It’s best to use red kidney beans for this recipe.

  • Chicken Stock

You can use homemade or instant chicken broth for this recipe. Make sure it is low sodium stock.

  • Jerk Seasoning

Would it really be a Jamaican dish without jerk seasoning in it? Jerk seasoning isn’t just made for meats but it’s also perfect for soups, sauces, and stews.

  • Coriander, Allspice, Habanero chile

These are our spices of choice for this soup. Given that it’s a Jamaican soup, it’s bound to be strong in flavor and these are the spices that contribute to that characteristic.

  • Ham

We’re adding ham to this dish because it adds a wondrous flavor of umami from the pork.

  • Cream

The addition of cream to this dish adds a nice velvety texture to the consistency.

Tips and Tricks

  • Used canned red beans

Why make life hard for you? Use canned red beans to lessen cooking time all in all.

  • Soak the red beans overnight

In order to lessen the cooking time of the beans, you must soak your red beans overnight and then remove the white pith to lessen the chances of a bitter red bean soup.

  • Best to consume immediately

Sometimes we make more of the soup we actually can consume so we can store the excess of it and then reheat on a different day. With Jamaican red bean soup, we highly suggest just making the right amount and consuming it at its best quality, freshly cooked.

How to make Jamaican Red Bean Soup

Make sure that you have all the ingredients ready. Mise en place is very crucial when cooking.

In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat and then saute the onion and garlic puree. Add the beans and one cup of stock and then bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat a little and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.

When the 10 minutes are up, transfer all the contents into a food processor and puree until super smooth. Pour in the pureed mixture back to the soup pot and simmer under medium heat.

Add what is left of the stock, salt, pepper, jerk seasoning, habanero chile, allspice, and coriander. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Finally, add the pork and the ham cuts and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cream towards the end until it creates a nice velvety consistency together with the bean puree.


Buttered toast

What to serve with Red Bean Soup

Jamaican red bean soup is quite filling because of the nature of the beans. However, just like with any soup, it’s always nice to serve it with other side dishes. Here’s a brief list of what we like serving Jamaican red bean soup with.

  • Butter brioche toast
  • Trini corn pie
  • Jamaican hot pepper pickle
  • Fried green plantains
  • Jamaican mango salsa (to balance the richness of the dish

Jamaican Red Bean Soup

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Hey there! I'm Isabel. I love cooking, dogs, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good flavorful food, to share with family and friends.



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