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Self Magazine Lists Jamaican Gungo Pea Soup among Dishes that Make You Feel Extra Cozy

Jamaican Gungo Peas Soup

When the weather turns colder, a bowl of hot soup becomes a savory treat that many diners look forward to. In response to the growing urge to make comforting pots of delicious and hearty soups, Self Magazine compiled a list of easy soups that are perfect for cold-weather dining.

Among the Self selections is Jamaica’s popular Gungo Pea Soup. Gungo peas, also known as pigeon peas (or “gandules” in Spanish), are a small legume variety that is favored for use in Caribbean, Asian, African, and Latin American cuisines. The name “pigeon peas” stems from their historical use as pigeon feed in Barbados. The earliest mention of Gungo peas being cultivated dates from at least 2,800 BCE in India.

In Jamaica, the Gungo Pea Soup is often prepared during the Christmas holiday season as that is when the gungo peas are harvested. Gungo peas are prized for their earthy flavor, which is similar to that of brown lentils. They can be purchased fresh, frozen, or canned in supermarkets. If gungo peas cannot be found, black-eyed peas, yellow split peas, or brown lentils can be substituted.

Gungo Pea Soup - Jamaican Recipes

Photo – Xavier Murphy

Gungo peas are also favored for their health benefits. They are low in fat and high in fiber and protein. A 100-gram ( about 1/2 cup) serving of gungo peas totals 343 calories, 15 grams of fiber, 21 grams of protein, 62 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.48 grams of fat. They are also high in the amino acids methionine, lysine, and tryptophan and have beneficial levels of folate, which helps avoid anemia, and potassium, which may aid in reducing blood pressure.

Authentic Jamaican Gungo Pea Soup includes contains plenty of vegetables like yams, potatoes, and carrots in addition to the peas. Jamaican Flour Dumplings are frequently part of the hearty dish.

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Stephanie Korney