Quick Pepperpot Soup

Quick Pepperpot Soup

Jamaican pepperpot soup is usually a long-simmered preparation made with tough cuts of meat and vegetables. This version uses quick-cooking sirloin instead to get it on the table fast. If you’re not a fan of beef, try the soup with shrimp instead.

From EatingWell: January/February 2010
Yield: 6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 40
Total Time: 40


  1. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  2. 1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  4. 1 small white onion, diced
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet chile pepper (see Tip), or to taste
  7. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  8. 4 cups water
  9. 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  10. 1 pound sweet potato (about 1 large), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  11. 1 cup chopped (1/2-inch) okra, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
  12. 3 cups chopped callaloo (see Note), collard greens or spinach
  13. 3 scallions, sliced
  14. 1 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk, well shaken


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add steak and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink on the outside, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add onion, garlic, chile pepper and thyme to the pot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk water and cornstarch in a bowl or large measuring cup; add to the pot along with sweet potato and okra. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in callaloo (or collards or spinach) and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt; cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add scallions and the steak plus any accumulated juices. Cook until the steak is hot and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in coconut milk.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: One of the hottest chile peppers, Scotch bonnets come in vivid shades of red, orange and green and are used throughout the Caribbean. Though they look similar to habaneros, Scotch bonnets have a citrus note that makes them undeniably different. You can control the heat of a dish a little by discarding the membranes that hold the seeds, which are the spiciest part of chile peppers, along with the seeds themselves. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling hot peppers or wear rubber gloves. If you can’t find Scotch bonnet peppers, habaneros can be substituted.
  • Ingredient note: More commonly referred to as amaranth
  • in the U.S., callaloo is the ubiquitous cooking green in Jamaica. Some farmers consider it to be simply a weed, but if you’re lucky to find it in bunches at your farmers’ market or a Caribbean market, snap it up! It has a texture somewhere between that of collard greens and spinach, both of which are fine substitutes.


Nutrition Per Serving: 240 calories; 10 g fat (5 g sat, 3 g mono); 40 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 4 g fiber; 680 mg sodium; 628 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (80% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Zinc (20% dv), Potassium (18% dv).

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat