Jamaican beef soup is a favorite for many islanders.  Not only is it a genuine Jamaican family dish that but it is also easy to make and very scrumptious. This hearty soup features a variety of tender vegetables like carrots and pumpkin, juicy beef and popular aromatic Jamaican spices. The hearty and ultimate comfort dish is often served with homemade flour dumplings and a side of salad.

To make Caribbean soup, simply add the beef, spices and vegetables. Cook this tasty dish until the meat is juicy and the vegetables tender.  The only difficult part in making Caribbean soup is waiting for it to be done. Although the soup really does not take long to cook, the amazing aroma in the kitchen will be quite overwhelming. In truth, it is the type of one of meal that everyone gathers in the kitchen for.

Jamaican beef soup modified can add great variations to this wonderful dish to fit your taste buds. For instance, there are numerous Jamaican foods that can be added to the soup for a more authentic meal such as Jamaican yellow yam, green bananas, turnips and cho-cho (tastes like a cross between a potato and cucumber). Any or all of these authentic additions to the soup are quite tasty.

Serves 4-6

Prep 15 min

Cook time 1 hour

Total time 1 hour 15 min

Ingredients of the Jamaican Beef Soup

  • 2 lbs beef bones (with plenty of meat like shanks or short ribs), cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup pumpkin (calbaza squash), diced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 6 cups water

Jamaican beef soup modified; Optional Ingredients – Choose 1 or all of the extra ingredients based on the availability in your area. Also, add extra water, salt, pepper and onion, to taste.

  • 1 large turnip, diced
  • 1 large cho-cho, diced
  • 2 medium green bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup Jamaican yellow yam, peeled and diced small

Best Cookware to Use

Sharp knife

Cutting board

Large heavy bottomed pot such as a Dutch Pot


  1. In a large pot, combine beef bones, onion, salt and pepper. Add just half of the diced pumpkin. Add oil and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups of water to the beef mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook the mixture for 30 minutes. The meat should be about halfway cooked. Meanwhile, wash and cut the vegetables.
  3. Add the remaining three cups of water, the vegetables and fresh thyme. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir well. Cover and allow the Jamaican beef soup to simmer on low for 15 minutes. The meat should be tender and moist and the vegetables should be somewhat crisp and not mushy.
  4. Serve hot
  5. For leftovers, store in an airtight container. Jamaican beef soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days and up to 30 days in the freezer.