Jamaican beef soup is a typical Saturday treat. Market days are typically Fridays and the ingredients for the soup are usually purchased on that day. The soup is made on a Saturday I believe because it’s a day for chores. The soup is cooked in a large amount and takes a few hours to prepare. It also doesnt require a lot of attention so most of the attention can be given to chores.
Some of the most vegetables to add to beef soup are pumpkin/squash, carrots, chayote, turnips and onions. You can also add celery but it’s not necessarily used in Jamaica.
Choose a leg cut, bone-in piece of beef for this soup. You are basically making your own beef broth so using beef with bones will yield the best flavor.
This soup will take about 2 hours to make. If you are making a large amount for a large family, it could take longer.
- 2lbs kabocha squash, large dice (about 4 cups)
- 1 large carrot, medallions (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 chayote, medium dice
- 1 small turnip, small dice
- 1 large white onion, medium dice
- 1 large white potato, large dice
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsps allspice berries
- 1 medium Malanga coco root, large dice
- 10 oz Jamaican yellow yam, large dice
- 2lbs bone-in beef, cubed in large pieces
- 3 corns on the cob, halved
- 4 scallions, crushed
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
- 1 packet Grace chicken noodle soup
- 1 tbsp Better than Bouillon paste
- 2 cups flour (for dumplings)
- Wash and dice all veggies and set aside. Leave the prep of Malanga, white potato, yam and dumplings for later.
- In a large stock pot, add approximately 1 gallon of water. Add in garlic and 1 tablespoon of pimento/allspice berries and set to boil over medium high heat.
- Once the water comes to a boil, add in prepped beef and bring to a boil. Prep the beef by removing the fat and shards of bone. Rinse under cold running water.
- Cover and cook the beef for approximately 20 minutes and then add in pumpkin, carrot, chayote, onions and turnips. Cook for an additional 40 minutes until the beef is tender and the vegetables have started to break down and add color to the liquid.
- While the beef and vegetables are cooking, prepare the malanga, white potato, yam and dumplings by peeling, rinsing and dicing. Remove the husks from the corns and slice each cob in half to get 6 pieces. Prepare the dumpling dough by adding 1 tsp salt and enough water to bring the flour together into a tight dough. Cover the dough with a damp paper towel and set aside. To make the dumplings you can roll them in the palms of your hands to form imperfect cylinders.
- Once the beef is tender and the vegetables are cooked, add in the malanga, white potato, yam, corn and dumplings. Add water if needed. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the roots are nearly fork tender.
- To season the soup, add in crushed scallions, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, 1 tbsp allspice berries, Grace noodle soup packet and bouillon paste. Taste the soup for salt and add if necessary.
- Cook the soup for an additional 20-30 minutes until all the roots are fork tender and the dumplings float. The soup will also begin to thicken as the roots and veggies break down. Serve hot.