In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

A Sizzling Caribbean Beef Soup.

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I could never get used to this winter thing, no matter how long I’ve been calling this place home. The short days, constant overcast conditions (I’ve seen the sun 3 times so far this month and it’s already the 19th) and the bitter cold that seems to have arrived earlier than I expected. As I post this recipe, it’s about -12 C and it will only get colder as we move in January and February. On such cold days the order of the day is a good Caribbean soup or… a sunny vacation and that eh happening.. Like the other soup recipes I’ve shared in the past, this one will have the consistency and texture of a North American stew, but you’ll find that it will be much more sizzling and explosive!

You’ll Need…

1-2 lbs beef bones (get ones with a bit of meat)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion diced
3 cloves of garlic sliced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large carrot diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 scallion diced
1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
dash ground allspice
2 cups beef broth
4 cups water
3 medium eddoes
3 medium potatoes
3 medium sweet potato
4 green bananas (fig)
1lb cassava (see note below)
1 teaspoon salt
1 pack Grace cock soup
1 1/2 cup flour (for dumpling)
1/4 cup water for dumplings

Rinse off the beef bones, since the saw they used to cut the bones may leave back a bit of grit. Dry with some paper towels and get ready to brown. In a large pot heat the oil over medium/high heat, then add the beef bones. If you can’t source beef bones, feel free to use any cheap cut of boneless beef instead. Allow that to brown for about 5 minutes, then add the onion and garlic. Let it cook another 3 minutes or so, then add the thyme, black pepper, ground allspice, salt, scallion and carrot pieces. Top with the beef broth and 4 cups of water and add the scotch bonnet pepper (whole).  Bring that up to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. This will cook for about 1 hour to get the pieces of meat on the bones, tender.

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While this cooks, I prepare the rest of the ingredients. Peel the potato, sweet potato, eddoes, green bananas and cassava if you’re using fresh. I opted to use frozen cassava, which is just as good as the fresh ones and easily available in many grocery stores. I usually cut these into halves, so they cook the same time. Give them a rinse under cool water and then place them in a bowl where they can all fit. Top that with water so it doesn’t go discolored.

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After 1 hour, remove the bones from the pot and  set aside. Now add the eddoes, green banana, cassava (if you’re using frozen cassava as I did, do check the cooking time on the package and adjust accordingly), potato and  sweet potato. The next step is to add the Grace Cock Soup mix into the pot and bring this up to a gentle boil (covered). Allow this to cook for about 20 minutes.

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The bones we removed should be cool now. Remove any meat you can off the bones and return that to the pot. The bones you can discard as they will be very tough and have no real use. It’s then time to prepare the dough for the dumplings.

In a medium size bowl, put the flour and a dash of sugar (optional) and start with 1/4 cup water. I’m not the best at kneading flour, so I usually start off using a fork. I work the four until it forms a crude ball, then I go in with my hands. Add water accordingly as you knead the dough. You need a somewhat firm dough ball. Allow that to rest for about 5 minutes.

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Using the tip of a knife, pierce a piece of the eddoes (any of the ground provision) and if there’s no resistance, it means it’s cooked. Should take about 15-20 minutes from the time you added them. Pinch off small pieces of dough and using the palms of both hands work that to form the shape of a cigarette (see pics below). Add them to the pot as you go along. If you find that the dough is sticking to your hand, use some flour on your hands.

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After you’ve added all the dumplings, give it a good stir to ensure all the dumplings are covered by liquid. Allow this to cook for about 5 minutes, then you’re done. If you have “salt butter” GoldenRay butter, feel free to add a small piece. Now you can fish the whole pepper out of the pot, or if you want that true Caribbean flavour, burst it open to release the Sizzle!

Note: When peeling the ground provisions (eddoes, cassava and green banana) rub some oil over your hands or use gloves, as you may find that your hands may itch a bit after.

If you find that you can’t get the Grace cock soup, a good substitute is any sort of quick-cook chicken noodle soup (like Liptons) or check for a Maggi cube or soup mix. For more soup recipes, check the links mentioned below. And before you go I’d really appreciate it if you could leave me a comment below – even if it’s just to say hello. And don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, by clicking on the image on the upper right side of the page. That’s also where you’ll find the link to all the cooking videos.

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  1. Sharon Holland
    May 10, 2020 / 7:14 am

    Looks real good I’m not much of a meat eater, I can do this all year round. Thanks.

  2. May 16, 2019 / 10:41 am

    Soup, one of my favorite meal. Thanks!

  3. Louise Aguilera
    July 19, 2017 / 6:03 pm

    P.S SometImes I add some lentils

  4. Louise Aguilera
    July 19, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    Oh my goodnes Chris ,its summer.I have a craving for this now but the kitchen is too hot. I have most of the ingredients and I use smoke turkey or regular wings, I like sweet potato (batata) and plantain in it as well and Maggie chicken soup. Wow! My mouth is watering. Hopefully the weather cools down soon so I can make it

    October 2, 2016 / 11:35 pm


  6. May 9, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    Lovely soup Chris ! it is nice also to add some smoked pork hocks if you can get it . This is superb!!

  7. VincyT
    March 2, 2016 / 7:43 pm

    Chris, I love your website. Been a fan for several years now. A nice pot of soupmis just what the doctor orders with fhe cold spell we finally have. For future soups, what can I use instead cock soup mix? Keep the rexipies coming.

    • admin
      March 2, 2016 / 7:48 pm

      and liquid stock instead of water or cubed bullion … much thanks for the kind support

  8. maxine
    February 1, 2016 / 5:31 am

    This soup is very tasty I add green pigeon peas to it omg! Real caribbean thing.

  9. Sonia
    January 11, 2015 / 12:23 am

    I am cooking oxtail soup now with leftovers, (potatoes and months old sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, oxo cubes, and soup McKenzie soup mix, teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce, big tablespoon of Jamaican jerk spice and time!). I just needed the dumpling recipe as haven’t made those for a long time, so thank you for putting on your website with all your tips.

    I try to get back to my Jamaican roots but I don’t really have family to cook for but my brother is here goes! Sonia. 11 January 2015.

  10. Justin
    November 19, 2014 / 4:08 am

    will try this one for sure.

  11. Bryan
    November 14, 2014 / 10:36 pm

    What type of beef bones did you use? What was labeled on the package?

    • Trini
      August 7, 2015 / 12:50 pm

      Could not resist, even though the post is a 2014 one. What type of beef bones you ask? Well the one that comes from pig of course. LOL!! Hope I was helpful.

  12. lovet
    October 31, 2014 / 8:33 am

    thanks so much

  13. Albert Charles
    August 23, 2014 / 1:34 pm

    Ok,nice, how about a little split peas,or red beans, will give soup a nice texture.

  14. Tricia
    August 16, 2014 / 9:27 pm

    Try it with lentil peas

  15. Jessica
    May 11, 2014 / 5:59 pm

    Can believe how easy it was.

  16. Jonesy
    March 27, 2014 / 2:28 pm

    Put the beef in a pressure cooker first for 20 minutes, that will release more of the bones marrow flavor. Shame we Trini’s can’t get Golden Ray Margarine in the UK.

  17. November 19, 2013 / 9:56 pm

    ooohhh la la. looks delicious. tried cow heel? deeelicious. keep on cooking. nikki

  18. Lorna
    October 30, 2013 / 2:44 pm

    Hi Chris

    This is just the way I like it. Great.

  19. natalie
    October 29, 2013 / 1:39 pm

    i want that now it raining in Trinidad

  20. Kiddy
    September 27, 2013 / 4:54 pm

    I like to use plantains rather than bananas.

  21. michelle forbes
    September 5, 2013 / 6:32 pm

    This is not how you make Jamaican beef soup. Sorry!! bannanas

    • Jonesy
      March 27, 2014 / 2:24 pm

      Thanks for that info, but this is how it is done in Trinidad.

  22. Windian
    May 12, 2013 / 9:33 am

    Hi Chris, just thought that I would comment on your dumplings; add a teaspoon of baking powder, a tablespoon of butter (or Olive Oil) and a pinch of salt and for the Trinis, a teaspoon of Golden Ray Margarine to your recipe and you will have the most delectable dumplings.

  23. samantha
    April 23, 2013 / 8:58 pm

    wonderful soup my husband loves when i make it.

  24. Sharda
    March 9, 2013 / 4:53 pm

    Ok, I just finish making this and it was too easy! It tastes great, just like when my dad use to make soup. Only thing was my pepper burst in the pot when I was coking the meat for the hour. So I got a real hot soup, is there anything I can do to calm the hotness of the pepper down? I I mean I love pepper like anyone else but I feel like my lip is swelling up now! Lol

    • Kiddy
      September 27, 2013 / 4:53 pm

      Put the pepper in same time as the dumplings

  25. henny
    March 3, 2013 / 10:22 am

    Just cooked this with lamb and oh my goodness it is so so delicious. Thank you very much x

  26. Michelle
    February 21, 2013 / 7:41 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. Tastes delish!!!

  27. Abiola
    February 10, 2013 / 2:26 pm

    my first time ever making soup because my husband is not feeling well and it is amazing!!!!! thank you!!

  28. Erica
    December 16, 2012 / 11:50 am

    Your website is great and your recipes are remarkable …. My family and I truly thank you for sharing your talent. I’m looking for to many more meals in the future. I wish you much success and your kindness is greatly rewarded and appreciated.

  29. Sherisa
    November 17, 2012 / 1:30 pm

    Chris, thanks for this recipe and so happy that I found your website. I'm making my soup as i'm typing this comment and oh my, my house smells soooo good. Keep it up and I look forward to see more favorites..

  30. mimi
    November 13, 2012 / 11:31 am

    Just finished ny soup I have a cold and it looks and tastes perfect thanks

  31. Colette
    August 19, 2012 / 10:46 am

    Is there a substitute that can be used for the Grace Cock soup mix?

  32. Rosie
    July 13, 2012 / 4:18 pm

    This also works using lamb necks in place of the beef bones.

  33. Latosha
    January 9, 2012 / 12:04 pm

    Hi Chris, If I use this recipe and add red beans would it be the same as Red Bean or Pea soup? It seems the same but what else would you add, ingredient wise because of the beans?
    Love, Love, Love you site

    • Sabrina
      July 11, 2013 / 12:49 pm

      Yep, I add green or brown peas to mine and it is yummy. With this too I add some coconut milk and escalliion.

  34. Erica
    December 15, 2011 / 8:08 pm

    This recipe was great! It made me miss my granny's cooking. Thanks

  35. Pamela
    July 18, 2011 / 7:32 am

    Such a hearty meal. Soup is good year round. I love all of your recipes and you are truly amazing…..
    Thanks Chris.

  36. Vanessa
    April 12, 2011 / 7:22 am

    I love this site and i am so excited to try all your recipes. I have made the curry beef and I was so impressed with myself. My father-in-law is from Trinidad but he can never seem to articulate those little hidden secrets to making the food taste awesome…
    Is there an option for the Grace cock soup mix or any other soup mix as I find there is usually MSG or other preservatives which i don't like to cook with in them?

  37. April 5, 2011 / 9:17 pm

    Ouuuu, look at the spinners dumplings!

  38. pete thomas
    April 3, 2011 / 2:59 am

    hi Chris, you make me so happy with the great recipes, thx so much :))))

  39. Kathyann
    December 25, 2010 / 9:43 am

    Hi Chris,

    Just wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful recipes. I learned to cook from my Grandmother, but never learned the exact measurements of the items (everything was by sight). My younger cousins, who are all born here in the US want to learn to cook our traditional meals from Port of Spain, Trinidad, but it is hard to explain to them over the phone amounts to use. I am glad your website(s) are available for them to see exactly what to do.

  40. Tuty
    December 22, 2010 / 7:52 pm

    Your beef and dumpling soup is hearty. Gotta try your recipe soon.
    I am about to make some cow heel soup to warm the Pacific Northwest winter too (no snow… thank goodness). Have a great Christmas holiday season to you and your family too.

  41. bibi
    December 19, 2010 / 3:01 pm

    Hi, I am preparing the soup using cutup beef ribs, I have all of the ingredients except for the allspice. My councern is with the dumplings, should'ntt there be some baking power and a bit of salt?

    • Sabrina
      July 11, 2013 / 12:47 pm

      You are on the right track. If you are using beef ribs you'll need to pressure cook them first but if using other you should be fine. Also, you DO NOT need baking powder for BOILED dumplings (only for fried dumplings). You can add a little salt for the dumpling but it is not a must.

  42. December 19, 2010 / 10:28 am

    you are half man half amazing!

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