Caribbean Chicken Soup

20.10.20 | Recipe by Renz

A thick, delicious, hearty Caribbean chicken soup is packed with not just chicken, but various other provisions and vegetables and dumplings. This soup is the perfect comfort in cold weather.

A large dish of Caribbean chicken soup, with smaller serving of soups in red bowls

I feel like I might be becoming the soup lady for Caribbean soups.

But it's a Saturday tradition that has been a part of my life for the majority of it, so you will have to excuse me.

So I'm adding to my already growing list we make on a Saturday. A nice Caribbean chicken soup recipe.

The soup culture in the Caribbean is strong. We just about make it with everything you can find. We make fish soup, conch soup.

What exactly is Caribbean chicken soup?

A big bowl of meat, in a well-flavored broth, with provision and spices and dumplings.

And let's not forget the fresh spices.

Caribbean people's soups are thick and usually are considered meals.

And this one is no different. We have chicken, and potatoes, christophene and other "food" (ground provisions,) and dumplings, and fresh spices.

Definitely what you need to be sipping on with the weather changing.

Picture of the chopped vegetables needed to be used in making chicken soup

Ingredients for this soup

This recipe is basic, with no unique ingredients at all. Even if you don't have exactly what I have listed for provisions, you can easily substitute the ones that you prefer.

  • Chicken breasts
  • Onion
  • Green seasoning
  • Scallion/Green onions
  • Pumpkin - I always use calabaza. The same I use for my pumpkin rice and fritters.
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Irish potatoes
  • Sweet potato
  • Christophene (also called cho cho)
  • Chicken noodle soup packet - this is usually salty so see my note below on salt levels. But you can omit this if you like and just make sure you flavor up your broth a little more
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh thyme
  • Bay leaf -This is optional. But if you are looking to give your chicken soup some additional flavor, it is a great addition.
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper
  • Water
  • Pimento berries - This is also optional. It is not an ingredient we use heavily in Trinidad and Tobago but is readily found in Jamaican chicken soup.

Equipment (affiliate link)
Heavy bottom pot/Dutch pot


Season up your chicken pieces and set them aside. As usual, I season with green seasoning.

In your pot, on medium-high heat, add your water, chicken, and pumpkin (see note for which type of pumpkin) and boil to the pumpkin starts to get nice and tender.

While that is boiling you can go ahead and mix your dumpling and let that sit for when it's time to drop them in.

Now to your pot add in your onion, chicken soup packet, celery, christophene potatoes.

Check the chicken and see tenderness. IF not fully broken up, remove from pot and chop up then add back.

At this point make your dumplings as you wish. I love making them long and/or into small balls when putting them into soups.

Also add remaining ingredients: thyme, pepper, scallion. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

If the soup is too thick you can add more water.

Boil for about 10 minutes until the dumplings are floating to the top.

This is a large dutch pot full of thick Caribbean chicken soup

What to serve with this?

I mentioned that these are meals for us. This is not a light soup. So for the most part we do not eat this with anything.

But occasionally a nice warm slice of bread is a good thing. Some hops bread or even butter bread to dip in some sauce.

Can I make it ahead

I would not really make this too far ahead of time. More than a day, no. You can make it earlier in the day for later in the evening, then reheat it to warm it up.

I am not a huge fan of freezing soup even though I do it. I think fresh is best.  

Storage & reheating

I normally say I am going to store this but we usually have no leftovers the next day. I guess that is a good thing.

If there are leftovers from the first cooking, then I usually put the soup in a large container and put it in the fridge because I know someone is going to eat it the next day.

If they are leftovers after that, then I distribute it into storage bags of single-serve sizes and put them into my freezer.

Please note I do not put the dumplings to freeze. I do not like reheated dumplings after they are frozen. So I usually make sure I eat those out before putting it into the freezer.

To reheat, I take the packet out of the freezer and allow it to defrost a bit. It can be put to defrost either in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.

Then add softened soup to a deep pot and simmer on low. I add a little water (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup) at a time and stir occasionally until warmed through So now get your bowls out and get ready to dive into this soup.

It's so delicious and filling.

This is a picture of a red mini bowl of caribbean chicken soup


* The best chicken pieces to use: I love using chicken breasts for this recipe. Or even use chicken thighs. Both of these cuts give the soup a good body and flavor.

And don't worry if you have pieces that have bones. Some people like eating soup with bones or if not don't worry. When the meat has cooked, take it out and remove the bones and return the meat to the pot.

If you are using chicken breasts that are really thick, slit them down in half to make them thinner.

It would help in cooking time and you wouldn't have to take it out to cut it up into smaller pieces.

* Salt levels: Always taste for salt while cooking. You can add more if needed and definitely more pepper.

* I need additional heat: I don't like my soup too spicy, but if you do you can up the pepper count to two or even add it in a little earlier. You can also use pepper sauce for additional heat while eating. This is great if you are cooking for others and they have varying levels of pepper allowance.

* This soup is too thick: All the starches in here will make it thick as it cooks. You can either cut down on the number of starchy items or add more liquid. You can also use broth

* Can I add coconut milk: You sure can. You can replace some of the water amounts with coconut milk. I would not do more than 1/2 cup.


Don't be afraid to replace some of the things I have listed. You are free to add in corn, or use yam, or any provision you prefer, or maybe in season at the time.

If you can't find calabaza pumpkin, butternut squash is a great substitute. Since that is softer than calabaza, put the chicken to boil by itself then add the squash later down. Putting that in as early as the chicken, it will get very soft and thicken the soup too much.

And if you want to dive into more soup Saturday options, here are more of our soups: