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La-toya Fagon serves up her favourite Jamaican-inspired comfort soups

When you’re chilled to the bone, there’s one tried and true dish you can always turn to: soup. Our resident cooking expert La-toya Fagon serves up her favourite Jamaican-inspired comfort soups.

Beef Soup


  • 8 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 lb. soup bones or beef rib or shoulder
  • 2 carrots, cubed
  • 2 turnips, cubed
  • ½ peppercorn squash cubed
  • 2 small parsnips cubed
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ pound yellow yam cubed
  • Few sprigs thyme
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 1 scotch pepper or pepper sauce to taste
  • 6 dumplings 


  1. Boil soup bones in stock about 45 minutes.
  2. Put all vegetables, seasonings and dumplings to soup. 
  3. Once it starts to boil, simmer covered until yam is cooked and soup is of a medium consistency.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cold water 
  1. Mix flour and salt together in a cooking bowl. Add half of water to the mix, and then use your hand to knead the flour. The flour will look like crumbs; when this happens gradually add water and knead until the dough is the consistency you want.

Creamy pumpkin soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ tsp ground pimento seeds (all spice)
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (whole)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 large pumpkin chopped or butternut squash
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, optional 


  1. In a soup pot, heat butter and oil on medium high. Add red and green onions, carrot, celery and garlic cook until soft.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except black pepper, lime juice and milk. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered for about 45 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
  3. Season the soup with cracked black pepper. Removed scotch pepper.  Puree with a hand blender until smooth. Return soup to a boil.
  4. Add the lime and coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes, just blend flavours, adjust seasoning to taste.

Monday, Jan. 24th, 2011

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