Sua Pisupo - Corned Beef Soup - Recipe

Pisupo or Corned Beef is a well known and eaten food across the Pacific. The name ‘is a transliteration of ‘pea soup’ which were the first type of canned food that were brought to Samoa by early sailors and traders. When corned beef came along in a can and became the most popularly eaten canned food-the generic name for tins of food 'Pisupo' still stuck’. (via

One of the meals I remember growing up was Sua Pisupo or Corned Beef Soup. It was made by my mum and grandma (who happened to be from Northern England - married into a Samoan Family). Salty and tomatoey, hearty and warming, perfect in winter!

Our family recipe, which has never actually been written down came from my great grandfather Siatu’u, in American Samoa. Apparently a 16oz tin of Pisupo would feed a family of nine! They added according to what was available at home/in the garden, as long as the base of Pisupo, onion and tomatoes was kept. My grandfather and his siblings used to say you need goggles to find a piece of beef in the soup! (There was so little beef and so much else in the soup!).

Thank you Grandpa and Mum for the recipe.


1 can Pisupo (roughly broken up, breaking it up from the can into the pot)
1 can tomatoes + approx. 2/3 cans of water (depending how thick or thin soup wanted)
1 medium onion sliced
1 medium carrot chopped/diced 
1 medium (or 2 small) potato(es) cut into cubes
approx. 1 cup frozen peas
approx. 100g Pasta Spaghetti (macaroni elbows in American Samoa back in the day)
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional: green beans or a bit of pearl barley, green esi (pawpaw/papya), pumpkin, rice

Put Pisupo, tomatoes, onion and water in a largish pot on heat to boil.  Add all other ingredients, adding pasta when soup is boiling. Stir intermittently and season to taste.

Keep simmering until carrot, potato and pasta are cooked well. The Pisupo should be broken up.

Ready to eat :)

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