Beef/ Jamaican & Caribbean/ Main Dishes & Entrées/ Soups & Stews

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

November 22, 2020

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

Share this Blog Post with Family & Friends!

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.

For more soup recipes, try my tried and tested Classic Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup, or this super tasty Healthy Hearty Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup recipe!

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

Full recipe ingredients and instructions are available in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Jamaican Saturday (Sat-deh) Soup: Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

Growing up, this soup was a classic. It was a staple “Saturday Soup” in our household, interchangeable with Jamaican 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 ole’ 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!

You’ll Love This Jamaican Soup Recipe! Here’s Why…

Veggie Heaven – this is an easy way to eat your veggies and get a full serving or more of all its nutrients!

Warming – during the cooler and cold winter months, this is a great way to warm you up from the inside out.

Filling – loaded with dumplings, carrots, and hearty ground provision, such as yams and potatoes this soup will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Versatile – you can make this soup light with a broth like consistency, or thick and hearty. You can also add in various veggies and produce as you please; the options are endless.

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup in Pot

Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

It is a delicious and warming soup infused with flavours of garlic, thyme and escallion. It’s made with a pumpkin beef soup base and filled with dumplings, carrots, and hearty ground provision, such as yams and potatoes.

It is also a Jamaican tradition, where you will most likely find a big pot of this soup simmering in the kitchen on a Saturday.

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 in 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.

How To Make Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup – Easy, Step-by-Step YouTube Video

traditional jamaican pumpkin beef soup ingredients.

Ingredients and Ingredient Notes

Water – this is what you are going to use to make the soup base (the pumpkin beef stock).

Beef Shank – you can also use stewing beef, cut into large chunks as it will shrink down and break apart as the soup cooks. I prefer using beef shank with the bone, as it provides an added rich flavour.

Cured Bone-In Beef – also referred to as salt beef (salted beef). Cut into chunks, and ensure you take the time to boil out some of the salt.

Whole Pimento Seeds – also known as allspice berries, this adds a woody, cinnamon like flavour but is not overpowering.

Garlic – use large cloves and crush them using the bottom of a can or between two cutting boards.

West Indian Pumpkin – this is a round or oblong type of squash and is a must in the recipe. It’s what provides the rich pumpkin flavour and orange colour to the soup and helps to thicken the soup. Cut the into small cubes for easier cooking.

Carrot – use large, peeled and sliced carrots or carrots cut into chunks.

Yellow Yam –  cut into small cubes

pumpkin beef soup ingredients flatlay.

Coco Yam – also known as eddo, cut into small cubes.

Turnip – cut into small cubes and is optional.

Chocho – also known as chocho  is a type of squash and has a taste between a mild apple and cucumber with a crisp texture.

Flour Dumplings – a mixture of all purpose flour, water and salt rolled into circular shaped dumplings.

Thyme Sprigs – this fresh aromatic and flavourful herb is essential in many jamaican dishes, and definitely great in this one as well.

Escallion – also known as green onion, crushed using the handle end of a chefs knife if needed.

Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix – this is a packaged soup mix, that gives great homestyle flavour to the soup. You can find this many large chain grocery stores as well as west indian or caribbean grocery stores.

Scotch Bonnet Peppers – this packs a good spicy punch, and flavour to the soup. Alternatively, you can use habanero peppers or your favourite variety of pepper. Be sure to keep it whole (don’t let it burst), as the soup may become too spicy.

Other Optional Ingredients or Substitutes for Above Listed Ingredients

Corn – quarter the corn into smaller pieces and add to the soup.

Ground Provision – add yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, dasheen, eddo or cassava to change up the soup and add great nourishment.

Where to Get ingredients for Jamaican Soup

Your best bet to get these ingredients is if 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.

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup in Bowl

What Equipment is Needed to Make This Recipe

Large Stock Pot – a stock pot is often much taller than a regular large pot. The tall sides help to prevent too much liquid from evaporating during the cooking process, as well as helping to reduce any potential spillage. Not to mention, great for big batches of soup!

Long Handled Wooden Spoon – the handle of this spoon will stay cool while stirring the soup, as well it will not scratch your pot.

Ladle – this kitchen tool has a deep rounded bottom, perfect for scooping up heaping portions of the soup as well as all the vegetables, ground provision and meat.

See My Story Below for Step-by-Step Instructions

How to Make Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

1. Prepare Cured/Salted Beef

  • Add water to a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Then add cured/salted beef and boil for about 20 minutes to remove salt and discard water and set aside beef. Repeat if necessary until desired amount of salt has been been boiled out.

2. Cook Beef and Pumpkin

  • In the same large stockpot, bring to rapid boil 12 cups of water. Carefully add the beef shank or stewing beef, cured/salted beef if using, garlic and pimento. Allow to boil for about 45 minutes or until the beef is mid-tender. Then add pumpkin. Continue to cook for about 45 minutes or until pumpkin softened and beef is tender. At around the 45 minute mark, add an additional 4 cups of water and continue to boil.

3. Prepare Fresh Ingredients

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

4. Make Flour Dumpling

  • 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. Simmer & Serve

  • When beef tender and pumpkin dissolved, add the remaining fresh ingredients including the dumpling and reduce heat to medium. Stir in Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix, seasoning salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust if necessary; allow to simmer for an additional 30 mins.
  • Remove scotch bonnet pepper and thyme sprigs, serve while hot and enjoy!
Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup Broth in Ladle

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup Recipe Notes and Tips

  1. Large Stock Pot – once you add in all your vegetables, dumplings, and meat things can get crowded, ensure you use a large enough pot.
  2. Dumplings – when the dumplings begin to float to the top, they are ready.
  3. Water/Stock Level – always make sure there’s enough water in your pot to cover your ingredients at all times. 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.
  4. Thinner/Thicker Soup – if you prefer a thinner soup, add more water during step 2 of the cooking process, if you prefer a thicker soup add more pumpkin and mash it out.

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

Here are some variations to this pumpkin beef soup recipe you can try next:

  • Ground Provision – 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.
  • Dumpling – instead of using white all purpose flour, swap the flour and use gluten-free or whole wheat dumplings.

What to Serve with Pumpkin Beef Soup

This is a one pot meal that encompasses meats, veggies, starch and of course the flavourful pumpkin beef soup broth. It is usually not served alongside any other food items, however you can serve with:

  • Bread – warm crusty bread or jamaican hard dough bread.
  • Crackers – soup crackers or jamaican water crackers.
pumpkin beef soup in a bowl with beef, veggies and scotch bonnet pepper.

The Best Storage Containers for Storing and Freezing Soup

Soup recipes often taste even better as leftovers, and if you’re making a big batch, storing for later is a great idea! The best features to look for in the storage containers are ones that are:

  • Glass Container – this allows you to see what’s inside, lasts longer than plastic, does not stain, can be heated on stove top (double boiler), used in the oven as well as microwave.
  • Snap Close Lid – this forms a tight seal to ensure no spillage as well as to keep freshness in.

Be sure to look for a lid that is BPA-free!

How to Freeze Soup

Soup is one of the best meals to make-ahead because it freezes so well. Here’s how to store your soup in the freezer and the best tips for the best results:

  • Cool and Portion it Out – it is recommended you cool your soup prior to placing into the freezer to prevent it from thawing other foods in the freezer. Then, portion the soup out into easy and convenient grab-and-go individual servings.
  • Separate Grains and Pasta – if there are pasta or grains such as rice in your soup, they will soften as they freeze and reheat. Remove, store, and freeze separately then add back the soup broth when ready to serve.
  • Store in Glass or Plastic Containers – then line the top of the soup with a piece of plastic wrap to reduce the risk of freezer burn.
  • Label – you can keep frozen soup in the freezer for up to 3 months, so label with a “eat by” date.
  • Thaw/Reheat – the easiest way to thaw your soup is in your refrigerator overnight then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

How to Reheat Pumpkin Beef Soup

  1. Microwave – for individual servings or smaller batches, transfer soup to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel and heat.
  2. Stove – reheat large batches of soup in a stock pot or dutch oven on the stove over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup in Bowl with Hand Up Close

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What can I substitute the Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix with?

If you’re unable to find Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix, or any of their other soup mixes (Chicken Noodle Soup or Cock Soup), feel free to use beef bouillon, or beef soup mix.

What type of pumpkin should I use?

In my experience, the best varieties of pumpkin I’ve used are kombucha, calabaza and butternut squash.

Interested in more Jamaican Recipes? Check These Out!

I’d greatly appreciate if you left a star ★ rating (located below), as well as leave a comment if you found this blog post helpful and tasty! 

Also, don’t forget to keep up with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest!

Lastly, sign up to our monthly newsletter for all TSS updates straight to your inbox!

Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup in Bowl with Hand

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.
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 55 mins
Course Jamaican & Caribbean, Soups & Stews
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • 1 Large Stock Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 16 cups Water divided
  • 2 lb Beef Shank cut into chunks w/ bone or stewing beef
  • 1 lb Cured Bone-In Beef salt beef, cut into chunks
  • 6 Whole Pimento Seeds or allspice berries
  • 2 Cloves Garlic large, crushed
  • 1/2 pound Pumpkin cut into small cubes
  • 1 Carrot large, 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 Chocho (Cayote) medium, peeled and sliced
  • 6 Flour Dumplings
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 2 Stalks Escallion green onion, crushed
  • 1 pck Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix
  • 1 – 2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper optional
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Flour Dumpling

  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 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
 

Prepare Cured/Salted Beef

  • Add water to a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Then add cured/salted beef and boil for about 20 minutes to remove salt and discard water and set aside beef. Repeat if necessary until desired amount of salt has been been boiled out.

Cook Beef & Pumpkin

  • In the same large stockpot, bring to rapid boil 12 cups of water. Carefully add the beef shank or stewing beef, cured/salted beef if using, garlic and pimento. Allow to boil for about 45 minutes or until the beef is mid-tender. Then add pumpkin. Continue to cook for about 45 minutes or until pumpkin softened and beef is tender. At around the 45 minute mark, add an additional 4 cups of water and continue to boil.

Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup

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

Make Flour Dumpling

  • 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.
  • When beef tender and pumpkin dissolved, add the remaining fresh ingredients including the dumpling and reduce heat to medium. Stir in Grace Pumpkin Beef Soup Mix, seasoning salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust if necessary; allow to simmer for an additional 30 mins.
  • Remove scotch bonnet pepper and thyme sprigs, serve while hot and enjoy!

Notes

Flour Dumplings – you may not need all the water listed to form the dumplings. I needed 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp of water.
Level of Spice – don’t let the scotch bonnet pepper burst, unless you want a spicer soup.
Salted Beef – salted beef altogether should boil for approximately 30 minutes in 10 minute increments adding fresh water everytime to draw out the excess salt from the beef.
Water/Stock Level – always make sure there’s enough water in your pot to cover your ingredients at all times. 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.
See detailed notes above for additional tips.
Keyword beef, beef and pumpkin soup, beef recipes, caribbean recipes, grace pumpkin beef soup mix, jamaican curry, jamaican dishes, jamaican pumpkin soup, jamaican recipes, jamaican saturday soup, jamaican soup, pumpkin, pumpkin recipes, salt beef soup, soup recipe, soup season, soups and stews
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below I always love hearing from you! You can also tag @theseasoned.skillet and use #theseasonedskillet on Instagram!
Traditional Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup in Bowl

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? 

Leave a comment below and a star rating above, or tag @theseasoned.skillet on Instagram and use hashtag #theseasonedskillet!

ARE YOU STILL HUNGRY? 

Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more great recipes and all the latest updates!

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Samantha
    January 22, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    4 stars
    Nice soup recipe the only thing is a little confusing is the instructions when it comes to the water to be added for 45 cups 3x recipe.

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      September 13, 2022 at 10:03 pm

      Hi Samantha! If you’re making 3 large batches (3 pots of soup), it will take around 45-48 cups of water. The recipe ingredients quantities are tripled in this case – hope this helps!

    Leave a Comment

    Recipe Rating




    You Might Also Like

    Honey Jerk Shrimp Green Banana Porridge Jamaican Callaloo How to Soak Fruit for Christmas Cake Lemon Chive Salmon Cakes