Jamaican Chicken Soup...the Cure?

While the verdict is still out that Jamaican chicken soup may cure the common cold and other virus-causing ailments such as the flu and pneumonia, I still think it’s best to visit a health care practitioner or medical doctor  to take care of these ailments by professionals.


And, since we are living in modern times, get a second opinion in dealing with the discomfort and nausea. While I accept that chicken soup helps in handling the associated cold symptoms, I cannot conclude that it cures anything…except hunger.  

On the other hand, it’s not too far-fetched to say that your beliefs can prompt your body to react a certain way when ill from the common cold virus, though.   

Quite frankly, we Jamaicans have many cold-remedy concoctions and elixirs to rely on chicken soup to solely comfort us when sick.  As a matter of fact, soup is just one of the many aids used in return-to-good-health when we get a cold or flu.  

And it also depends on were you live on the island, in addition to the verdict of the community and common ancient folk beliefs.

Some Jamaicans do not believe in eating anything with feathers. And, not surprisingly, others are vegans and vegetarians…so anything Jamaican chicken soup offers will mean nothing to these people…’Nuff said.

As you will notice, the recipe below is very carbohydrate-heavy and, as such, not your typical run-of-the-mill chicken soup. It would be expensive to make a soup like this for cold remedy…Yah Mon!

Well, another thing that I did not mention is that this soup may not even be the one that’s acceptable by some people, too.

You see, soup-density is a factor when you prepare this soup. If you were to travel the island and do a Jamaican chicken soup tastes test, you’d be surprised.

Other than the regular ground provisions (yellow yam, Irish potato, pumpkin) the taro, cassava, and sweet potatoes when added, makes this soup thick and heavy….as preferred by some people.

I am going to confess now. My cousin, Doris, made chicken soup with boiled green bananas…not the ‘done thing’ when making chicken soup…I will not comment.

Now, I hope I am not creating a negative picture about our chicken soup….just stating the facts. 

So if you are looking for a symptom-relieving aid, this chicken soup may help. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to make this delicious soup for your friends and see the response. Cool? Yah Mon!

        Jamaican Chicken Soup

½ Chicken (cut up in 8 Pieces)

2 sprig. Thyme

½ lb. Yellow Yam

2 Irish Potatoes

1 stlk. Scallion

1 pkt Jamaican Chicken Noodle or Cock Soup

4 Pimento Berries (Allspice)

1 tblsp. Salt

1 Cho Cho (Christophine) (cut up into 1 inch pieces)

2 lb. Pumpkin Squash (cut up into 1 inch pieces)

1 oz. Butter


In a stock pot, add three quarts of water and then add salt to taste. Bring water to a boil then add chicken, pumpkin, and cho cho together. Boil for 30 minutes.

Peel the skins off the yellow yam and potatoes and wash these root vegetables in cold water to remove the dirt. Cut each vegetable into four slices and then add them to the pot.

You can add spinners (small dumplings) to the soup at this time if you wish.

The fire should be turned to high at this point. Boil for 15 minutes.

Now you can add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, turn the fire down to medium, and cook for another 10 minutes. Then simmer for another 5 minutes.

Check the yellow yam to make sure it is soft. If not, cook until it becomes soft but not mushy.

TIP: You can speed up the time to prepare this chicken soup by slicing the yellow yam into thin slices.


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