All Jamaicans love this hearty, hefty Jamaican Gungo Peas Soup. It is vegan, delicious, easy to prepare, and nourishing. It freezes well for later use, which makes it the perfect meal for a hectic weekday evening.


One of my favorite dishes is Jamaican gungo pea soup, which comes in second only to my all-time favorite, Red Pea Soup. Almost all of the components in the two soups are the same except the type of beans.

Gungo Pea Soup, a classic Jamaican soup, is thick and hearty, loaded with vegetables, and packed with dumplings. This soup can serve as a dinner on its own because it’s so filling.

When I was growing up, Saturday was always soup day; it was hands down the day of the week I looked forward to the most.

Jamaican Gungo Peas Soup was typically made in our home with meat, but after shifting to a vegan lifestyle I started making a vegan version. This soup contains gluten-free dumplings, so it is also perfect for gluten-free dieters. Indulge in some super comfort food!

As always, I suggest you read the complete article for useful tips and tricks. However, you can find the detailed recipe with exact ingredients and step-by-step instructions below on the recipe card.

What are pigeon Peas?

In Jamaica, they are known as gungo peas, despite the fact that you may recognize them as pigeon peas. This small, round legume has a delectable, nutty flavor and grows in pods. Usually used in rice and peas, a favorite Jamaican dish. Gungo peas are also used in other Jamaican cuisines to prepare soup or stews, but they also have a variety of health benefits.

I grew up eating this soup quite frequently, especially around the Christmas holiday season because that’s when most of the gungo peas (pigeon peas or gandules) were harvested. It was traditionally cooked with meat so I prepared a meat-free version here. I also included a gluten-free dumpling. This is where comfort food is!

Close up image of Jamaican gungo peas soup recipe with dumplings, carrots, yam in a white bowl

Nutrition Facts

Pigeon peas are low in fat and high in protein and fiber.

A 100-gram serving of pigeon peas contains:

  • 343 calories
  • 15 grams of fiber
  • 62 grams of carbohydrates
  • 21 grams of protein
  • I.48 grams of fat

For more nutritional facts, see Organic Facts.

Health Benefits Of Pigeon Peas

Pigeon peas, also known as gungo peas, are a powerhouse of nutrition and offer numerous health benefits. Rich in protein, fiber, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, these beans are essential for a well-rounded diet. They also contain vital amino acids such as methionine, lysine, and tryptophan, which are crucial for various bodily functions.

While gungo peas are traditionally enjoyed as a Christmas dish in Jamaica, their health advantages make them a valuable addition to regular diets. They are particularly beneficial for hypertension patients due to their potassium content, which helps dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure.

The high protein content in gungo peas supports growth and development, which is crucial for tissue, muscle, and bone formation. It also aids in the body’s healing and regeneration processes. Additionally, these peas are rich in organic compounds that help prevent anemia and inflammation. For example, a paste made from mashed gungo peas is traditionally used to treat hemorrhoids.

Gungo peas are also ideal for weight management as they are low in calories, cholesterol, and saturated fats. High in dietary fiber, they help you feel full longer, boost your metabolism, and prevent fat storage due to their vitamin B, riboflavin, and niacin content.

Furthermore, gungo peas enhance immune function and support heart health, with the added suggestion to chew on raw green seeds for maximum benefits. They also maintain intestinal health by reducing diarrhea, bloating, cramping, and constipation.

Beyond these benefits, gungo peas have applications in treating bronchitis, jaundice, lung disease, and even in eliminating parasitic body worms, showcasing their medicinal uses alongside their nutritional value.

Gungo Peas Soup Ingredients

  • Gungo Peas: Opt for fresh or frozen, depending on availability.
  • Vegetable Broth: Use organic, gluten-free vegetable broth, or homemade broth from leftover vegetables. Alternatively, mix 2 bouillons with 8 cups of water.
  • Coconut milk adds a creamy texture and rich flavor to the soup.
  • Onion: enhances the soup’s flavor. Choose from yellow, white, or red varieties.
  • Green onion contributes a grassy, savory taste. Scallions make a good substitute.
  • Red bell pepper provides vibrant color and essential vitamins.
  • Garlic: Two freshly minced cloves intensify the soup’s flavor.
  • Potatoes: Add texture and taste. Any variety works well.
  • Dasheen Yam: also known as malanga or taro, adds a unique texture. Omit if unavailable.
  • Carrots boost nutritional value and flavor.
  • Thyme: Essential for its earthy flavor, use 1 teaspoon dried or 2 sprigs fresh.
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper: Adds authentic flavor without the heat when used whole. Remove before serving to avoid intense heat.
  • Allspice Berries: These robust, brown berries enhance soups and curries with their warm flavor. Substitute with pimento if needed.
  • Ginger: A half teaspoon of freshly grated ginger adds a spicy kick.
  • Dumplings: homemade from flour, water, salt, and optional ingredients like cassava or cornmeal. Different recipes are available on my blog.
  • Salt: Sea salt is used; adjust the quantity to taste.

gluten free vegan gungo peas soup overlay in a white bowl on a white background on a black and white napkin


How to Make Jamaican Gungo Pea Soup?

For an authentic Jamaican flavor, I included yam, potato, and carrots. Yam is a root tuber, like a potato. Yellow yam has a distinct yellow flesh.

It’s traditionally added to our soups in Jamaica. You can find yellow yams or Caribbean yams in West Indian, and Latino grocery stores and even some Walmarts carry them. If you can’t find yellow yam, just leave it out.

I also added dumplings/spinners to the soup. You can find the recipes for traditional and gluten-free dumplings Here. I also made my gungo peas soup with coconut milk for a creamy island flavor.

If you haven’t tried gungo peas as yet, it has an earthy flavor similar to brown lentils. Its flavor shines through this delicious, heartwarming soup. Gungo peas can be found, frozen, canned or fresh.

For the dumplings, you can make one of these gluten-free vegan recipes, Jamaican Boiled Dumplings, Green Banana Dumplings. Cassava Dumplings.

Other Delicious Soups To Try

  1. Jamaican Pumpkin Soup
  2. Vegan Cabbage Soup
  3. Split Pea Soup Vegan
  4. Cheesy Broccoli Soup
  5. White Bean Soup

Jamaican Gungo Peas Soup

Serving Suggestions

This soup is a meal in itself. It is loaded with peas, veggies, and dumplings. So there’s no need to serve it with additional components. Just make something light and refreshing to drink after this having this soup like:

Chef’s Notes

  • This soup is good for vegans and people who can’t enjoy gluten.
  • Taste the soup and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
  • While the peas are cooking, you may make the dumplings. This will save you some time.
  • This soup should be medium thick; if it’s too thick, thin it out with some boiling water.

Other Caribbean Recipes To Try:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gungo a Pea?

Of course! It belongs to the family of plants known as legumes and can typically be found in tropical or warm areas. For instance, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.

Is pigeon peas the same as gungo?

Gungo peas are legumes. They are also known as gunga peas and pigeon peas. Most likely, you can find them dried or canned in the Caribbean or perhaps Latin section of your nearby grocery store or online.

Where can I buy gungo peas?

These peas can be found in Indian supermarkets, on Amazon, or in well-stocked grocery stores in the Latin American area.

How to Store Leftover Jamaican Gungo Peas Soup?

Leftover soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. In the freezer, it can be stored for a month or longer. The coconut milk, however, might curdle when thawed and reheated.

So you can omit the coconut milk and substitute water if you’re making a big quantity to freeze. Add the coconut milk while reheating.

Give this Jamaican Gungo Peas Soup a shot. It’s incredibly delicious and super easy. Once you try it, you’ll want more!

As always, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave any feedback or share your own experience with us in the comments section below.


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Jamaican gungo peas soup overlay in a white bowl on a grey background

Jamaican Gungo Peas Soup

This easy Jamaican Gungo Peas Soup is so delicious and hearty, perfect for the colder months. Full of flavor with gungo peas, yam, carrot, and dumplings.
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: Jamaican gungo peas soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 303kcal



  • 3 cups gungo peas 2 (14-oz cans), fresh or frozen
  • 8 cups vegetable broth or 2 bouillons plus 8 cups of water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 potato cut in cubes
  • 1 cup yam dasheen, coco chopped, (optional)
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs of fresh
  • 1 whole Scotch Bonnet pepper
  • 6 pimento/allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
  • Salt to taste

For The Dumplings

  • 1/2 cup flour: I used gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • If you are using dried gungo peas, sort and soak peas overnight in cold water about 4 inches above gungo peas. The following day, drain and rinse peas, add water about 3 inches above peas.
  • The following day, drain and rinse peas, add water about 3 inches above peas. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 1 hour, until tender.
  • Add, vegetable broth, coconut milk, onion, green onion, red bell pepper, garlic. potato, yam, carrot, thyme, Scotch bonnet pepper, allspice. ginger, dumplings, and salt.
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt.

For The Dumplings

  • Place flour and salt in a bowl. Add water and mix to make a stiff dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into the palm of hands to make long thin dumplings. Drop into simmering stew.


Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 1374mg | Potassium: 874mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2717IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3mg