In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

An Alluring Caribbean Chicken Soup.

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The first batch of this soup I made about a month ago and it was just enough for me as I never thought anyone else in the house would care for it. When everyone else in our house think “Chicken Soup” they think about this recipe “A Hearty Chicken Soup For The Soul.” So when Tehya (middle daughter) asked to try it, I was quite pleased and a bit vex that I didn’t have more to share with her. The one thing she did say though… “dad, why is the chicken so white?”. Yup, Caribbean people hate seeing broiled or colorless meat and I guess I passed that on the her at some level.

So when she came and asked me to make another batch of this chicken soup, I was only too excited to abide.  Hey, not only is my girl liking my food, but  I was secretly craving a huge bowl as well.

You’ll Need…

3 lbs chicken (cut into portions)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 potatoes
3 green bananas (cooking banana)
1 lb sweet potato
2 cups cubed pumpkin
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic sliced/crushed
1 hot pepper (scotch bonnet or habanero)
1 tablespoon salt * Check at the end to add more if necessary
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
3-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 carrot
1 tablespoon tomato paste (or 1 teaspoon Caribbean style  browning)
1 lb cassava
1 scallion
2 packages of Grace Cock Soup

* If you can’t get Grace cock Soup, a great substitution would be the Maggi pack soup or any chicken noodle soup that’s a bit spicy. For a richer body and taste to this soup, you can also add some Goldenray butter the last 5 minutes of cooking. Remember that butter is heavy on salt, so adjust accordingly.

* Add whatever ground provision you may have or like in your soup. * You’ll need a large pot. BTW, this can easily feed about 6 adults.

I like using dark meat for this soup as it’s cooked  for a long time and I find the flavor is a bit more pronounced than if I use chicken breast. However you can use white meat if you so desire. Cut into serving size pieces and wash with lemon juice (I didn’t mention this in the ingredient list) and water, then drain. Now add the oil to a large pot and heat over medium heat. Start adding the pieces of chicken to the pot. Yes, I know my Trinbagonian people are probably saying “you eh season the meat man”. We’ll get to that a bit later. Brown as best as you can for a few minutes, turning each piece periodically.

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After a few mninutes of browning (trust me it will never really get brown), add the black pepper, scallion, onion, garlic, thyme and parsley to the pot. Give that a good stir.

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Allow that to cook on low/medium heat a bit. So we can have time to peel and cube the other ingredients (potato, carrot, sweet potato and green banana, pumpkin and cassava) . Give those things a rinse under cool water and drain. Now add it all to the pot and stir.

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Also add the tomato paste and/or the Caribbean browning. Cover with water and bring to a boil on high heat.  As it comes to a boil, add the cock soup, salt and the hot pepper. Leave the pepper whole and at the end you can either burst it to release the heat or you can fish it out to have things a bit milder. Now reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 30-40 minutes. Basically until the potatoes etc starts melting away and form a nice rich and thick broth. You can cook with the lid off or slightly ajar.

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If you’re lucky enough to have some Goldenray butter, add the last 5 minutes or so of cooking and give it a minute or 2 before you check to see if there’s enough salt. As the Goldenray is a bit salty as well. If you’re using a basic chicken noodle soup mix to add instead of the cock soup, try to get one that’s low in sodium. so the overall dish is not salty.

You can be creative with this by adding other ingredients you like in soup, like.. dumplings, macaroni, beans or peas and other ground provisions. Some pieces of corn on the cob would probably work well in this soup as well.

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook as we chat about this and other recipes. You can also look up the cooking channel on youtube and if you’re on Twitter, you can always add me to know when new recipes etc are posted.

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  1. Coleen Harewood
    February 14, 2022 / 7:41 am

    Yes. I have suddenly grown to love homemade soup, not only is it nourishing but it’s warm and very comforting on a cold day. I have also found that if its eaten a few days in a row you tend to drop a few pounds.

  2. June 30, 2019 / 5:32 pm

    I make this soup all the time, I need to include sweet potato the next time. My background is, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad, born in Panamá. My maternal grandfather was from Trinidad, and a sweet potato lover. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Alzina Miller
    January 31, 2019 / 7:36 pm

    I’m American (J’American) and follow your recipes to improve my island cooking techniques. You have made me a winner with my family. Thanks

  4. Bernice Martin
    February 14, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    Looks delicious.

  5. July 22, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    Hi i enjoy the chicken soup. my home land Trinidad food so delicious . when ever i have flu thats what i cook chicken soup especialy your recipe. thanks for sharing .

  6. Jean Gordon
    May 6, 2016 / 6:18 pm

    Hi Chris:
    Wish I had some of this wonderful soup right now! Thank you for your recipes. You make your soups just like I do, and the only thing bad with mine is that when you call for pigtails or salted meat, there is nowhere that sell them in this city! You know, once I asked you how many daughters you have, because you keep saying that Tehya is your middle daughter, and you never answered me. Now again you say that Tehya is the middle one. The only way she could be the middle one is if you had three daughters. I thought you and your wife had two daughters as to what you had explained in the beginning, and that is the reason that I am confused.
    I would appreciate it if you would clear up my misconception.
    HOW MANY DAUGHTERS DO YOU AND YOUR WIFE HAVE? I am not being nosy, just interested.

    Jean Gordon.

  7. SF
    April 30, 2016 / 8:51 am


    Thanks for this recipe.

    My dad is a great soup and my (biassd) opinion is that no one can cook “Sat’day Soup” like him! I particularly love his rib soup, made with salted pork ribs, which is exactly the same as this chicken soup recipe, save for the fact of the swap out of chickens for ribs (and maybe little additions, such as kidney or other peas added and noodles)/ Always tastes better the next day, when the flavours have had a chance to dink in.

    My dad is from the island of Nevis (SKN), so, as I never see any rib soup recipes around, I was wondering if this rib soup may be unique to that island?

    I am going to try cooking it for the first time; as I have stomach acid problems and like to follow low acid, low or no gluten and sodium, as much as possible, I am looking for low sodium alternatives to the Cock Soup, tbh.

  8. Ian
    April 12, 2016 / 1:48 am

    Hi Chris try making a clear chicken soup with chicken dumplings the recipe for these dumplings is 5 or 6 slices of white bread with the crusts cut off 1 whole egg & 1 egg yolk about 250ml of cream about 2 chicken breasts salt & pepper blitz it together add about 2 spring onions finely chopped drop doulops into boiling soup when they float they are cooked in joy

  9. Ginger
    November 8, 2015 / 5:40 pm

    Thanks for this amazing recipe.we are loving our “Homemade Soup”

  10. Marieke
    October 12, 2015 / 4:40 pm

    Just finished it without bananas cause in Holland (only toko) It is soooooooo good!!!
    Thanks again and again and………

  11. MsGoddesss
    May 17, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    I had some left over salmon even thought the recipe called for canned and it still came out great and it was my first time. This one’s a keep thank you.

    • MsGoddesss
      May 17, 2015 / 4:23 pm

      I commented on the wrong post lol, I ment to say this dish reminds me of my parents soup and the aroma while cooking really made me reminiscent of that. Really easy and delish thanx!

  12. January 31, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    My daughter asked me today to make this once again. Oh my she is loving soup. I remembered my mom making soup for us back in the days and who would have thought I could have done it. Thanks for the instructions and your Love for people and food. The soup is delicious. Will make this anytime and I will be making her the beef soup next.

  13. Nadia
    January 30, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    Absolutely delicious. Perfect winter soup for us Caribbean’s in the UK.

    • Beverly
      February 10, 2015 / 8:48 pm

      Are you from the island of Montserrat, daughter of Mildred and Kirwan?

  14. Steph
    November 17, 2014 / 11:22 am

    Hi Chris,

    I just wanted to tell you, I’ve been wanting to make soup for so long (since my husband and I are always in search of it, at LEAST once a week); and I figured since your oxtail recipe (which I did not post about) was so amazing, there was no one else to turn to! It came out great- with a few tweaks. There were a few things that I know I will do differently next time and will make the suggestion to others (pardon me if others have already made these suggestions):

    -Use an extra large pot. (haha- seems obvious, and I did use a large pot, but apparently I needed a largER one).
    -Use one cock soup and HALF a tbsp of salt then taste, if needed add the second and/or more salt. I had to keep adding water (hence the first suggestion).
    -Cut provisions much larger- smaller portions dissolve and turns it more into a gumbo-like consistency.

    I’m sure with those slight adjustments, it will be even better the next time!

    • admin
      November 17, 2014 / 11:37 am

      Steph .. thanks for your suggestions, I’m sure others (like myself) will find them handy.

  15. September 15, 2014 / 4:11 pm

    Woyyy…Ooh Chris… this caribbean chicken soup recipe is so good. You have made it so easy to follow that even I can cook it! I have modified it slightly as you suggested so that it reflects the tastes of my childhood. Thank you so much.

  16. Linda Ferguson
    August 12, 2014 / 3:17 pm

    Sounds absolutely fantastic. I will certainly be making this dish.

    Thanks Chris for all your delicious recipies. God Bless and have a bless day

  17. Roxanne
    October 8, 2013 / 10:14 pm

    Just made chicken soup for the first time ever. Thank you very much! I must admit that the caribbean in me made me season the chicken…sorry couldn’t help it. Otherwise, I did as instructed and it was absolutely delicious.

  18. guavaberry
    August 4, 2013 / 5:27 pm

    For everyone who stated that they "stew the chicken first to give it color", what exactly is the process for that? If you stew the chicken wont that be a different dish – not a "soup"? Educate me 🙂

  19. lamajia
    May 22, 2013 / 1:58 pm

    Chris! I love your website but your Caribbean chicken soup need refining. Grace cock soup mix has MSG and other unhealthy chemical food additives which diminishes the healthfulness of the ancestral dish. I understand that you're attempting to share traditional cooking techniques, but we must keep in mind that our ancestors mostly used natural herbs & spices in the preparation of their meals. We should be doing the same.

    love you my brother!

    • Tringlish
      November 19, 2014 / 2:31 pm

      Agree, the wife makes it without the cock soup. You can taste the ingredients and it taste better.

  20. Aditty S
    April 25, 2013 / 4:21 pm

    What is Caribbean browning? And how do you make it?

  21. Aseanboricua
    February 15, 2013 / 9:05 am

    Chris, you are bringing back do many great memories of wonderful Caribbean food. Now that I am far from NY, I can't just say let's go for jerk chicken or a beef patty. We are now in Australia and happy to have found your site. Will be trying your recipes and sharing with friends.

    Not sure that the peppers in the market are cubanelle can I send a pic?


  22. Kate Burma
    January 8, 2013 / 12:59 pm

    Thank for your instruction, thank you so much!
    you're a great chef!

  23. Ms goddesss
    January 1, 2013 / 11:23 pm

    Making this now! the smells in the kitchen remind me of my dads cooking.Im in love can't wait to eat this. Love the pics and the commentary it helps when Im looking at the site while cooking, making sure it looks the same as your pot .lol

  24. Mark Hodgson
    December 22, 2012 / 9:29 pm

    Made it today. Bwoy! What a thing. It was D bomb.

  25. Clair
    October 27, 2012 / 4:17 pm

    I am making this today. I accidentally put the entire can of tomato paste 🙁 I hope it does not taste like tomato soup.

  26. Alf G
    October 2, 2012 / 4:28 am

    Thanks Chris. Sounds yummy. Will try it soon. Thanks for the recipe.

  27. Krystle
    September 30, 2012 / 8:34 am

    Great Recipe I love This. Soup..Spinners R My Fav to add. To this soup:)

  28. Sibylle
    April 29, 2012 / 5:26 am

    This is such a great recipe, thank you! Having had the coldest winter return weekend in London, this soup saved my day!

  29. Blu
    January 11, 2012 / 2:52 pm

    Just wonderful! Made this for my Canadian family and everyone loved it! Added the corn on the cobb as suggested, it gives the soup a beautiful taste. Kids actually brought some for lunch the next day! Snif! Was hopng to pig out on this, but I guess I'll have to make another batch!
    Thanks Chris! This site is amzing!

  30. Dana
    January 3, 2012 / 5:11 pm

    Making this recipe tonight for dinner, as my daughter is not feeling. The smell is amazing. I can't wait to finish. Only thing is we will be adding dumplings. Thanks!

  31. Monty
    September 2, 2011 / 9:47 am

    Your site is great.Keep up the good work.

  32. Randi
    May 2, 2011 / 10:48 am

    oh add two table spoons of corn meal. And no soup mixes allowed as in recipe on website as it will make someone with celiac ill.

    a little hot sauce while boiling lol.

  33. Randi
    May 2, 2011 / 10:38 am

    how to make this gluten free?? lime and salt chicken. Rinse then season meat. Insert slit into chicken legs so seasoning can go inside. Use green seasoning then a tiny bit of jerk seasoning, seasoning salt and 3 cloves of garlic. 2 table spoons of butter. One onion. Then rub it in. Allow chicken to marinate for a little while. Fill large pot with approximately 2 to 3 cups of water. boil water. Add chicken and marinated sauce in boiling water. You can add some rosemary and fresh basil. or any other spices. Let chick boil until it is cooked. In the mean time cut up sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, celery, and any other veggies you would like. then add more water to pot. To compensate for the water added and flavoring add more seasoning salt and regular salt. a few squirts of ketchup. yes ketchup. more green seasoning. and another onion. Keep stirring soup so it does not stick to bottom of pot. Add gluten free noodles near the end and a half can of black eye peas. once those two are added keep stirring as they have a tendency to stick to bottom. MOST IMPORTANT KEEP TASTING soup until you have desired taste. You know it's done when veggies are no longer hard. Cooking with out measurements and timing means you are cooking with care and love. ENJOY it is TASTEY!!!!

  34. george gibson
    April 28, 2011 / 11:02 pm

    Soups are my favourite food….this looks like a great example….will try this very soon.

  35. omar
    April 14, 2011 / 3:06 am

    love the sound of this
    plan on making this soon
    so with the ingredients shown how many does it serve?

  36. nicole
    April 4, 2011 / 3:53 pm

    i stew my chicken first when i make this soup…….i also add dumplins and split peas (dhal). be sure
    to boil the dhal before adding to soup.

  37. Jae Simmons
    April 3, 2011 / 8:56 pm

    Made this soup again this weekend…it was awesome…LOVE IT! i add sweet potatoe and okra. This is the third recipe i used off this website and it was soo good…Thanks a million.

  38. tim
    March 30, 2011 / 4:24 pm

    Sounds tasty to the max. Ever tried adding some cassava dumplings.

  39. Bob Turner
    March 22, 2011 / 12:21 pm

    YES! That's for me. I will try this at the weekend for a family treat.

  40. lana
    March 15, 2011 / 6:25 pm

    i agree with nadia, i stew the chicken first and it gets a lovely color and also flavors the soup. leave of the tomato paste and the browning …and at the last 5 mins add some cubed sweetpepper and chopped celery and chive! amazing taste!!

  41. Nadia
    February 28, 2011 / 3:31 pm

    this looks good!!!…my mom and dad actually stew the chicken first so that it gets brown and then add all the seasonings and vegetables and liquids…of course the chicken is seasoned first and cut into smaller pieces…whats in the cock soup mix or any soup mix..i never use soup packs…

  42. February 25, 2011 / 5:45 pm

    Total comfort. Saturdays is soup day in our house and you called all the right ingredients dumplings, golden ray, Grace cock soup- we'll forgive them the name since it so darn good right!

  43. Annette
    February 15, 2011 / 12:24 am

    This looks awesome! Very similar to Panamanian chicken soup. We do use dumplings and cilantro. Making me want to make some right now! Thank you for sharing

    • tnt
      July 27, 2011 / 10:09 pm

      Annette some people here do so as well , my mom adds dumplings and we use culantro/shadon beni when seasoning the chicken 🙂

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