Sos pwa translates to “bean sauce” or “bean gravy” and has been a Haitian staple for as long as people have lived there. Made with red or black (or any color) beans, it’s typically served over rice or cornmeal porridge.
Sos pwa is so common, yet each family may have its own tweaks that make their recipe stand out and no one else’s will ever be quite as good as the sos pwa that gran made.
Back by popular demand, sos pwa, Haitian bean gravy.
Okay, the demand is coming from me.
This bean gravy is a perfect pot of comfort, where just a few ingredients combine to create something greater than the sum of their parts Beans offer protein, fiber and oomph, coconut milk offers a luscious creaminess. It’s simple to make but substantial to eat.
So are the soups in my Simple Soups class, happening this Thursday. It’s free, virtual, and hosted by Miami Dade Public Library. Sign up here. Bring your ladle, soup bowl, and appetite.
For another taste of Haiti, make a batch of pikliz.
Sos Pwa (Haitian Red Bean Gravy)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 scallions chopped, plus additional for garnish, if desired
- 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves plus additional for garnish, if desired
- 15 ounce can red beans rinsed and drained or 2 cups cooked red beans
- 2/3 cup reserved bean cooking liquid or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup coconut milk preferably full fat
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic and scallions and sauté, stirring occasionally until the vegetables become tender, burnished and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the thyme and the beans, and bean cooking liquid or vegetable broth.
- Purée the beans until they’re very smooth, using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor or blender), for 3 to 5 minutes. For extra smoothness, strain the mixture through a sieve.
- Return the beans to the saucepan. Swirl in the coconut milk. Heat through and reduce over medium heat about about 10 minutes, until the flavors meld and the bean sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Season generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Finish with a scattering of extra thyme leaves and snipped scallions if you like.