Callaloo soup - Joanne style

So it’s the day before I’m posting this recipe and I’m sitting here sipping this soup while I write this post. Can I tell you, it’s even better the day after just like most soups and stews. It was really nice to come home after a crazy busy day and a rainy one at that to a pot of soup ready and waiting to be reheated from the fridge. It’s totally the best feeling not to have to cook after a very long day!! So I was really grateful for it.

Fist things first for those who don’t know, callaloo is a thick soup made in the Caribbean with coconut milk, dasheen bush or greens, pumpkin and okra. Many cook it with pigtail or crab. It’s usually served over rice. The okra make it on the thick side like a gumbo consistency almost. I love callaloo on its own and even better as a soup with a lot of other goodness added to it. Also dasheen is more popularly known as taro. So the taro leaves is what we use in this soup. But if you don’t have any available you can use spinach or even kale.

It’s simple and cooks up fast and is so satisfying

I have had all sorts of callaloo and I really love all the different variations of recipes that I have had. My mother-in-law’s is still tops though! I could eat hers all day!! This recipe is kind of a combination of flavours I like that I have tasted in some callaloo’s and also an addition of some things I like to add to my soups. Adding these things really turns the callaloo not just into a soup but a meal.

It’s simple and cooks up fast and is so satisfying. If you are not a fan of the okra because of the ‘gumbo’ effect, you might like callaloo soup over callaloo. The extra liquid added lessens that thick and gumbo’ish consistency but you can always just use a few less okra in the recipe too. Hope you enjoy it! I would love to know what you like to add to your callaloo!

Callaloo Soup


  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped

  • 1 cup of pumpkin chopped

  • 1/4 cup of chives/green onions

  • 1 onion chopped

  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped

  • 1 cup of lentils (I make sure to either soak them overnight or I will pre-boil them so they don’t take long to cook or you could also used canned)

  • 4-6 okra washed, ends trimmed and chopped

  • 4-6 cups of cleaned and chopped dasheen bush or taro leaves (use spinach or kale alternatively)

  • 2 tomatoes chopped

  • 1 can of coconut milk

  • 5-6 cups of broth or water

  • 1 package of bacon chopped

  • 1 tbsp of fresh thyme

  • 1/4 tsp of crushed coriander

  • 1/4 tsp of allspice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp of Olive oil


  1. In a large soup pot heat up oil to medium and fry up bacon until crisp, then add you chives, onion and garlic and sauté for a minute or two

  2. Then add in your pumpkin, sweet potatoes, Okra, tomatoes, and coriander, thyme and the allspice and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for another minute and then add broth or water and lentils and let simmer for 10 minutes or so until the veggies start to soften

  3. Once that happens add in your dasheen leaves and coconut milk and let everything simmer for another 20 minutes or until all the veggies are soft and lentils are cooked though. Add more broth or water as needed.

  4. Take soup off the heat and carefully blend the soup using an immersion blender or you can do it in batches in a blender. I only do this to mainly break up the dasheen. I like leaving some chunky pieces of the sweet potatoes but feel free to blend it to the consistency you like.

Callaloo Soup