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Jamaican Beef Soup Recipe
The Traditional Saturday Soup!

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Jamaican Beef SoupJamaican Beef Soup| PhotoCredit:@flavapot_kitchen

Saturday is soup day is a line from a popular memory gem here we learned here in Jamaica.

And although the culture might be changing a bit, that's exactly how it is in real life here, yes Saturday is still soup day!

And today there are many types of soups, but the term Saturday Soup, has its origin in, you guessed it...

Yes, beef soup!

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Today I'll share the recipe for this traditional favourite with you! (scroll below)

But just before, I'll start by sharing a bit of history of Saturday Soup her,  with an excerpt from Donaldson in her bestseller, The Taste Of Jamaica.

History Of Saturday Soup In Jamaica

Saturday soup got its name from the fact that cows were slaughtered on Friday and soup bones would spoil quickly.

As a result, the soup was prepared on Saturday along with fresh vegetables from the market and the beef ‘goose neck’, if the butcher considered you a favourite customer.

The soup made was second to none. Saturday was a busy day for all householders since precious little was done on Sunday.

The house was thoroughly cleaned, the ice box or refrigerator, defrosted or cleaned, the silver polished, the bed linen changed and all baking and cooking that could be done on Saturday was done.

Not to mention, cleaning of shoes, ironing of clothes, packing the press or chest of drawers and washing whatever was exposed on the open wagon. 

The fresh smell of cleaning agents, and the aroma of home baking permeating the atmosphere, the smell of freshly cut grass and the changing state of readiness for the morrow, made it impossible to do too much more than a one pot soup.

Today, many Jamaicans still cannot recognize the day without soup, even though the familiar scenes have vanished. 

And now... the recipe!!!

Jamaican Beef Soup Recipe

Serves 5 persons


  • 1 pound soup bones or stewing beef
  • 1/2 pound of flour
  • 1 pound of pumpkin
  • 1/2 a pound cubed carrots
  • 1/4 pound turnips cubed
  • 1/2 pound cho cho (cut up in cubes)
  • 1 pound yellow yam, cut up
  • 1 small scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1/2 pound cabbage (cut up)
  • 1 spring thyme
  • 6-9 pimento seeds
  • 2 stalks escallion and thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Approximately 2 quarts water
  • Salt to taste


  1. Boil soup bones or beef in 2 quarts of water; it will take about a half an hour in a pressure cooker.

  2. Add the pumpkin, vegetables, the yam,  and cho cho to the pot.

  3. Use flour to make small to medium sized dumplings (spinners) and add to the pot.

  4. Once it starts boiling, remove cover, add salt & seasonings and allow to simmer until yam and dumplings are cooked and soup is of an acceptable consistency. 

  5. Remove and enjoy!

I Should Tell You....

  • Today, Jamaican beef soup can be had in handy convenient, ready to cook, sachets, both locally as well as your favorite Jamaican or Caribbean supermarkets in the UK, US and Canada.

    Some add it in leui of the meat while others add it at the time of adding the seasonings. Reputable brands that comes to mind are Grace and Maggie.

  • This recipe uses pumpkin, but many persons use red peas as well, the choice is yours.

  • Make sure the meat/ meat bone is placed in boiling water, not cold water!

If not yet done, be sure to check out our Jamaican Sweet & Sour Pork Recipe 

Watch YouTube Video! Here's A Video Of Jamaican Beef Soup Recipe

This one uses beef pumpkin soup mix as well as celery, but, again, the procedure is essentially the same. Enjoy

Get More Free Jamaican Recipes here

Now over to you!  Please don't hesitate to share the outcome with us.

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Reference For Jamaican Beef Soup Recipe

  1. Donaldson, Enid, A Taste Of Jamaica, 2000

Return to Free Jamaican Recipes from Jamaican Beef Soup History 

Return To My Island Jamaica Homepage from Jamaican Beef Soup Recipe

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