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Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup, this hearty, flavourful, and warming authentic Jamaican soup recipe is a staple in many Caribbean households - whether living abroad or still on the island. Traditionally prepared on a Saturday, this soup is infused with flavours of garlic, thyme and escallion with a pumpkin beef soup base filled with dumplings, carrots, and hearty ground provision, such as yams and potatoes.

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup in Bowl with Hand

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Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup, this hearty, flavourful, and warming authentic Jamaican soup recipe is a staple in many Caribbean households – whether living abroad or still on the island. Traditionally prepared on a Saturday, this soup is infused with flavours of garlic, thyme and escallion with a pumpkin beef soup base filled with dumplings, carrots, and hearty ground provision, such as yams and potatoes.

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

Jamaican Saturday Soup

Growing up, this soup was a classic. It was a staple “Saturday Soup” in our household, interchangeable with Chicken Soup and occasionally Goat Meat Soup or Red Peas Soup. I must say it again, Saturdays in our household always meant one thing – soup was going to be made. Especially living in Canada, where the Fall, Winter and Spring months bring about cool and colder temperatures, soup was thus a guarantee! I watched my mum make this soup over and over again, and it was quite nostalgic to remember the good old smell of the kitchen, or the peelings of ground provision and vegetables in the sink. This soup is not only delicious, but is tied to my rich Caribbean heritage and culture. I thoroughly hope you enjoy, so let’s get into it!

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup in Bowl

What is Ground Provision?

Ground provisions are a term used for Caribbean starchy vegetables that grow underground, and are then dug up when harvested. Some commonly used ground provisions include, yams, sweet potatoes, dasheen (taro), eddo and cassava (yucca or manioc). They are prepared a variety of ways, however they are usually the only or main source of carbohydrates for the meal. Other provision or “food” as Jamaicans say also include breadfruit, green bananas, and plantains.

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup in Pot

How to Make Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

If using salted (cured/corned) beef first start by rinsing your beef. Then add beef to a large stockpot; fill with enough water to cover the beef. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Dump water, and repeat process an additional 2 times. Alternatively, you can soak your salted (cured/corned) beef in cold water overnight.

Next, add the beef shank, and pumpkin to your large stockpot and cook for about an hour or until pumpkin dissolved and meat tender. While this is boiling, make the dumplings and prepare the remaining vegetables.

When beef tender and pumpkin dissolved, add the above ingredients including the dumpling and reduce heat to medium. Stir in Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix, and black pepper. Taste for salt, and adjust if necessary; allow to simmer for an additional 30 mins. Serve and enjoy!

Tips for Making Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

  1. Use a large enough stockpot, once you add in all your vegetables and dumpling things can get crowded
  2. When the dumplings begin to float to the top, they are ready.
  3. Swap out the ground provision for other options you may like more. For example, if you don’t like yellow yam, substitute for yukon gold potatoes or corn etc.
  4. Always make sure there’s enough water in your pot to cover your ingredients at all time. Enough water to cover the beef and pumpkin during the cooking process. Enough water to cover all your vegetables and dumplings to allow the soup to simmer.
  5. If you prefer a thinner soup, add more water during step 4 of the process, if you prefer a thicker soup add 4 additional cups instead of 5.
Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup Broth in Ladle

Grab the Grocery List (Screenshot The Recipe Ingredients Below)!

Your best best to get these ingredients is it you visit a West Indian Market, that carries items like the Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix, Calabaza or West Indian Pumpkin, Salted (Cured/Corned) Beef, Yellow Yam etc.

  • Beef Shank or Chunk Beef/ Stewing Beef
  • Salted (Cured/Corned) Beef
  • Calabaza or West Indian Pumpkin
  • Carrot
  • Yellow Yam
  • Coco Yam
  • Turnip
  • Chocho (Cayote)
  • Fresh Thyme Sprigs
  • Escallion (Green Onion)
  • Pimento Seeds (All-Spice Berries)
  • Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix
  • 1 – 2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, optional
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper & Salt
  • Flour

Other Optional Ingredients or Substitutes for Above Listed Ingredients
Corn
Other Ground Provision – Yams, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Dasheen, Eddo and Cassava

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup in Bowl with Hand Up Close

Other Must Try Jamaican Recipes

Easy Jamaican Pigeon “Gungo” Peas and Rice, Jamaican Rasta Pasta & Jamaican Escovitch Fish

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Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

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Soups & Stews, Jamaican & Caribbean Jamaican // Caribbean
By Taneisha Morris Serves: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour 45 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup, this hearty, flavourful, and warming authentic Jamaican soup recipe is a staple in many Caribbean households - whether living abroad or still on the island. Traditionally prepared on a Saturday, this soup is infused with flavours of garlic, thyme and escallion with a pumpkin beef soup base filled with dumplings, carrots, and hearty ground provision, such as yams and potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 15 cups Water, divided
  • 1lb Beef Shank, cut in smaller chunks w/ bone or or Stewing Beef
  • 1lb Salted (Cured/Corned) Beef (optional)
  • 1/2 pound Pumpkin, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large Carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 pound Yellow Yam, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 pound Coco Yam, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 pound Turnip, cut into small cubes (optional)
  • 1/2 medium Chocho (Cayote), peeled and sliced
  • 6 Dumplings
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 2 Stalks Escallion (Green Onion), crushed
  • 5 Pimento Seeds (All-Spice Berries)
  • 1 Packet Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix
  • 1 - 2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, optional
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • Dumpling
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Water, may not need all the water - I needed 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Other Optional Ingredients or Substitutes for Above Listed Ingredients
  • Corn
  • Ground Provision - Yams, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Dasheen, Eddo and Cassava

Instructions

Remove Excess Salt from Salted (Cured/Corned) Beef

1

If using salted (cured/corned) beef, rinse and add beef to a large stockpot; fill with enough water to cover the beef. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Dump water, and repeat process an additional 2 times. Alternatively, you can soak your salted (cured/corned) beef in cold water overnight.

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

2

Using the same large stockpot, bring to rapid boil 10 cups of water. Carefully add the beef shank, or stewing beef, salted (cured/corned) beef if using, and pumpkin. Allow to boil for about 50 minutes to an hour or until the pumpkin dissolved and beef is tender. At around the 45 minute mark, add an additional 5 cups of water and continue to boil.

3

While beef and pumpkin boiling, prepare your other ingredients - carrot, yellow yam, coco yam, turnip, chocho (cayote), thyme, escallion (green onion), pimento seeds, and scotch bonnet pepper; set aside.

4

In a medium mixing bowl, add flour and salt then gradually add water and use your hand to knead and form the dough for the dumpling. Dough should be soft but not sticky and wet. Pinch or cut off 6 equal sized pieces. In the palm of your hand using a circular motion, form each piece into a ball, flatten slightly, and fold the edges of the dough into the center creating small round wheels. Set each dumpling aside.

5

When beef tender and pumpkin dissolved, add the above ingredients including the dumpling and reduce heat to medium. Stir in Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix, and black pepper. Taste for salt, and adjust if necessary; allow to simmer for an additional 30 mins.

6

Remove scotch bonnet pepper and thyme sprigs, serve while hot and enjoy!

Notes

Don't let the scotch bonnet pepper burst, unless you love Salted Beef altogether should boil for 30 minutes in 10 minute increments with fresh water to draw out the excess salt from the beef.

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