This Nourishing Jamaican Chicken Soup recipe is sure to be the next best soup you'll ever make and you're guaranteed to be satisfied while highly nourished with the nutrients included in every bite. A great weeknight option or weekend addition in spite of the season, this soup boasts of it’s major flavor factor and comes loaded with chicken, carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, corn, dumplings, seasonings + herbs, and chicken broth. Slow Cooker + Gluten-Free options.
I love to go back to my Jamaican roots when I'm craving comfort food. But comfort food doesn't have to be all about Mac and Cheese and Donuts (of course, there's always a time and place for those) and this Nourishing Jamaican Chicken Soup speaks volumes. This chicken dumpling soup is spiced with Jamaican flavors and keeps things pretty traditional, especially when it comes to the inclusion of "spinners" aka dumplings. Plus, it's the best thing to enjoy when you want something hearty, warm, or need to feel better when sick.
The best part about this chicken soup recipe is how easy it is to whip together, the fact that it's highly nutritious, is completely gluten-free (once the dumplings are made using GF flour), has bold Jamaican flavors + spice, and it only requires a dutch oven. So, if you're a lover of Jamaican flavors, you'll definitely love this Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas, Authentic Jamaican Curry Chicken, Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken, and Spicy Jamaican Beef Patties.
This is often the million dollar question because not only is chicken soup delicious, but if you've ever been sick and needed something that brought comfort and some sort of healing, then you know that chicken soup does the trick oftentimes. Why? Well, because it's packed with a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including protein, B Vitamins, Vitamin C, amino acids, and others.
Jamaican Chicken Soup is a traditional hearty soup that is usually served on Saturdays--although it is not required to have a specific day or time. Usually, it's made with a chicken and pumpkin base and then filled with vegetables, dumplings, and provisions such as potatoes, yams, or sweet potatoes.
Here are just a few reasons that you'll be making this hearty chicken soup recipe on repeat:
To make this nourishing one-pot chicken soup, you'll start by seasoning and searing the sides of your chicken first and then setting it aside. Then to finish the soup, you'll need a pot on the stove to sauté the garlic, onions, and carrots followed by the herbs and seasonings as well as the scotch bonnet peppers. The seared chicken, potatoes, corn, along with the remaining ingredients go into the pot for the soup. Let it simmer a bit more until the chicken and veggies are tender and wallah! Nice, aromatic results.
To finish the soup recipe, you'll need:
I truly love adding bone broth to many of my soups for that extra nourishment and it really does do the trick! Incase you aren't familiar, bone broth is the clear, protein-rich liquid obtained by simmering meaty joints (in this case chicken) and bones in water to pull the nutrients out. Much like regular stock, bone broth can be used as a great base for soups, stews, and risottos---although, I love drinking it warm in a mug whenever I'm sick or need some aid in my recovery. My fave brands are Bare & Bones as well as Kettle & Fire.
Breakdown of health benefits:
Absolutely! Homemade chicken dumpling soup is much healthier than store-bought ones, which often include high-levels of sodium, preservatives, artificial flavors, etc. Plus, you have a lot more control over the ingredients used this recipe and you're able to purchase organic, healthier ingredients to make up your nourishing soup and provide you with loads of vitamins and nutrients.
Now, if you're intimidated with making soup or are concerned that it won't turn out as delicious, no worries. In my experience with making many different types of soup and watching the adults around me make a TON of soup (it's a staple in the Jamaican culture), I've learned a few things along the way that can help you make really good soup, including this Nourishing Jamaican Chicken Soup:
Instead of noodles, this Jamaican chicken soup is bulked up with tender and fluffy dumplings called spinners. They're made from:
The spinners are super easy to make and just use three ingredients. The one key is to not add all of your water at once. This will make a too-wet dough that will fall apart when you cook them. Making spinners is also a fun task for little ones to help with if you have kids in the kitchen.
For many of you, this term might be new. However, in Jamaica "ground provision" refers to any starchy vegetable that grows underground and need to be dug up when harvested. Some common provisions include potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, cassava, etc.
In addition, there are other provision foods that Jamaicans enjoy as well which include plantains, green bananas, breadfruit, etc.
In general, the most flavors come from the herbs + seasonings used. For this chicken dumpling soup recipe, you'll get a ton of flavor from the salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic, onions, thyme sprigs, scotch bonnet peppers, chicken stock + bone broth, as well as the chicken itself.
In this recipe, I usually start by searing my chicken and then allowing it to cook along with the remaining ingredients in the soup until tender and cooked through. However, if you'd like to use chicken breasts and cook them and shred them and then add them to this soup, that's fine also. See my Nourishing Chicken Noodle Soup on how to best shred cooked chicken breast.
When it comes to pairing this Jamaican chicken soup with a food, traditionally it's enjoyed with some sort of bread (crusty bread or hard dough bread) or crackers (soup crackers or water crackers).
Yes! To make this soup in the slow cooker, simply sauté garlic, onions, and carrots, before adding everything (including seared chicken) into your slow cooker and cooking on a low setting for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.
Yes, it is! Traditionally, Jamaican soups usually have a "kick" to them in terms of spiciness, however, you can make this soup less spicy by adding less peppers.
If you'd like to keep things more traditional with the addition of pumpkin, the best varieties of pumpkin I’ve used are Jamaican pumpkin or kabocha, calabaza and butternut squash.
Of course! The base of this soup is actually entirely gluten-free, however, to ensure that it's fully free of gluten, you can make the dumplings using gluten-free flour.
Absolutely! You can easily marinate your chicken overnight (or up to 2 days) prior as well as prep/chop your veggies and store them in air-tight containers in the fridge. However, it's always best to make everything the day of when making this soup.
While adding turmeric is optional, it definitely has benefits: powerful medicinal properties, natural anti-inflammatory ingredient, increases antioxidant activity in the body, and more.
Most of the ingredients in this soup can be found at your local grocer, however, there might be a few specialty ingredients like the scotch bonnet peppers, Jamaican all-purpose seasoning, bone broth, pumpkin, etc. that can be found online via Amazon or at a local Caribbean or West Indian Food Market.
Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, for optimal freshness. Can also be frozen for 4-6 months. To defrost, simply place soup in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature before re-heating on the stove top to serve.
To reheat this soup, it's always best to do so over the stovetop or microwave. When reheating on the stovetop, you can add additional water, chicken stock, or bone broth to create more of a liquid base if needed since the chicken and dumplings might soak up most of the liquids when refrigerated.
If you tried this Nourishing Jamaican Chicken Soup or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.