3 lbs meat such as salted pigtail, salted beef, fresh turkey neck, fresh oxtail, or no meat at all (just adjust seasonings to taste) – I used 1.5 lb salted pigtail and 1.5 lb fresh turkey neck
2 cups dry kidney beans (not canned) – no need to soak overnight
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 + 4 thyme sprigs
1.5 tsp pimento seeds/allspice berries
2 corn, each cut into four pieces
2 carrots cut into coins
¼ lb pumpkin (kabocha or calabaza squash), cut up
1 cho cho/chayote, cut up
1 large potato, cut up
1 medium piece of yam or boniato/Caribbean sweet potato (according to preference), cut up
2 scallion stalks
1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (or 2 for added spice)
1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning (such as by a Jamaican brand or Adobo)
1 packet of sazon with annatto (approx. 1.5 tsp)
½ tsp black Pepper
½ tsp salt (optional: recommend waiting until the very end to taste for salt and add only if desired)
Dumplings: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tsp cornmeal, ½ tsp salt, ¼ cup water
Lots of hot water on hand (keep a kettle full at all times)
1) If using salted meat, desalinate it by boiling it twice with fresh water (enough to cover the meat by two inches) on medium-high heat, 20 minutes each time.
2) To a pressure cooker, add the meat, red kidney beans, garlic, 4 thyme sprigs, and pimento seeds. Ensure that there is enough water in the pressure cooker to cover the contents by two inches. Pressure cook for 40 minutes on medium-high heat.
3) Once pressured, transfer the contents to a large soup pot. Remove the remnants of the used thyme, garlic, and pimento, if desired. Add the prepared vegetables and seasonings and enough water to cover the contents of the pot by about two inches. Give the pot a stir. Add the all-purpose seasoning, sazon, and black pepper, and give the pot a stir again. Boil the soup on medium-high heat for 15 minutes.
4) While the soup is boiling, prepare the dumplings. Combine the dry ingredients well, then gradually add the water to form a dough. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes, then form your dumplings into long, thin spinners and/or round dumplings.
5) Add the dumplings to the pot, then gently stir. Add more water, if needed. (At this point, add water only if you prefer a thinner soup.) Allow the soup to boil for another 30 minutes.
6) Remove the used scallion, thyme, and scotch bonnet. Taste for salt and adjust seasonings to desired taste.
Serve and enjoy!