Monday, 28 November 2011

Bajan Gungo Pea, Squash and Coconut Soup

Whilst I was vacuuming,  I knocked down one of the paperback cookbooks hidden on the bottom shelf.  A much under-used cookbook called Lean Bean Cuisine.  I flicked through it quickly, finding myself enticed by a number of legume based recipes.

As the book was random, honest - it landed at my feet - it occured to me that I should enter this months No Croutons Required Does Random Recipes.  This is not the way I normally cook, I tend to go by what ingredients are in season and then come up with a recipe, but I was up for a new challenge, moreso as I've never done 'Random Recipes' before either.  So I closed my eyes and flicked through the first few pages and ended up on a 'Gungo Pea and Coconut Soup' recipe.  This made me smile, as I have three tins of gungo peas, also known as pigeon peas and a can of coconut milk at home.  The only ingredient I had to go and pick up was butternut squash.   
The soup was lovely and light, truly embracing the characteristic flavours of the Caribbean: coconut milk, thyme, hot peppers, and rum.  I have to point out though that the flavours of both the jalapeno pepper and rum is mild, so don't worry about it too much;  if you so wish, feel free to omit it.  I think the soup will still be lovely and will transport your mind, if not your soul to the sunset warmth of the Caribbean.
So as mentioned, this is my entry for Novembers No Croutons Required. NCR is a little different this month as Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes has teamed up with Dom at Belleau Kitchen.  to create No Croutons Required Does Random Recipes.   I do hope they like this soup as much as I did.
Bajan Gungo Pea , Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup
Serves 6 – 8
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper
140g – 180g butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 x 400g canned gungo peas (pigeon peas), drained and rinsed
1 ½ pints vegetable stock
Optional:  2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
200ml canned coconut milk
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and jalapeno pepper.  Saute over medium heat the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes or so.  Add the squash, half of the beans, stock, rum parsley and seasonings.  Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 35 minutes until it begins to thicken, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the coconut milk and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes.  Transfer the soup to a food processor and blitz until smooth.  Return to the pan, add the remaining beans and reheat before serving.  Adapted from Lean Bean Cuisine by Jay Solomon.


  1. I think that would suit me better than Brussels Sprout quiche or whatever! :) Please can I have a Jamaican roti with mine?

  2. You learn something new every day as I have to admit I've never heard of gungo peas before.

    I love butternut squash so will give this recipe a whirl. Thanks Shaheen.

    I could just do with a trip to the Caribbean ;D

  3. I think I had this soup as a kid...You may get more readers as I mentioned you in my post today. Thanks for your e-mail!

  4. What an intriguing recipe! I love the idea of optional rum (although now feel obliged to note I am not an alcoholic...).

    Also, I tagged you in the Food Bloggers Unplugged survey that was passed to me last week :) You may not want to take it up but thought I would let you know!

  5. Thank you Stephen C.

    Thank you so, so much Emily Malloy.

    Thanks Mark.
    Of course a Jamaican roti would be fine with this :)

  6. Thank you so much Neesie Natters.
    I hope you get to try this, its really good.
    And like you I could do with a trip to the Caribbea- or anywhere where its not raining ;D

    Thank you donkey and the carrot - its soo good to hear from you.

    Thank you e.
    Its very kind of you to mention me on your blog, I will surely come by :) And your welcome about the e mail x

    Thanks Kari.
    Intriguing, yet delicious! The rum is purely optional, so don't worry. I am not a big alcohol drinker, in fact i came to drinking alchohol quite late for an adult in the west.

    Thanks for letting me know about Food Bloggers Unplugged and for tagging me :) I will certainly think about participating, but no promises. I have a feeling I may have answered similar questions on my blog before :) but really, Thank you x

  7. This soup sounds really yummy! I love soup with coconut milk.

  8. it landed on your feet? haha that's definitely cue for making sth out of it! i love the sound of the flavours in this soup! coconut and squash, ah yum.


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