Cassava Soup Recipe from West Africa - Delicious and Nutritious

Cassava Soup

Cassava Soup Recipe from West Africa - Delicious and Nutritious
Region / culture: West Africa | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6


Cassava Soup
Cassava Soup

Cassava soup is a traditional dish that is popular in many Caribbean and African countries. This hearty and flavorful soup is made with cassava, a starchy root vegetable that is a staple in many tropical regions. The soup is typically made with a combination of meat, vegetables, and spices, creating a rich and satisfying meal.


Cassava soup has a long history and is a dish that has been enjoyed for generations in many cultures. The recipe has been passed down through families and adapted to suit different tastes and preferences. Cassava soup is often served at special occasions and celebrations, and is a dish that is loved by many.


How to prepare

  1. Boil the water for ten minutes along with the shank (remove any foam that forms).
  2. Next, add the unsalted pickled meat.
  3. Include the whole onion, celery stalks, pimiento seeds, the whole pepper (do not puncture!), and the cassava.
  4. The soup is done when the cassava, pickled meat, and shank are tender.
  5. Finally, add the bouillon cubes and optionally, the coconut milk.
  6. Boil for an additional 5 – 10 minutes.


  • Add additional vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, or okra for extra flavor and nutrients.
  • Use different types of meat such as chicken, beef, or pork for a different flavor profile.
  • Add spices such as cumin, paprika, or curry powder for a unique twist on the traditional recipe.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to remove any foam that forms when boiling the water with the shank to ensure a clear and clean broth.

- Adjust the amount of bouillon cubes to suit your individual taste preferences.

- For a smoother texture, you can add coconut milk to the soup.

- Be careful not to puncture the whole pepper when adding it to the soup, as this can make the soup too spicy.

Serving Suggestions

Cassava soup can be served as a main dish with a side of rice or bread. Garnish with fresh herbs or a squeeze of lime juice for added flavor.

Cooking Techniques

Boiling, simmering

Ingredient Substitutions

If you cannot find pickled fish, you can substitute with smoked fish or shrimp for a similar flavor.

- If you do not have cassava, you can use potatoes or yams as a substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

Cassava soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve cassava soup in a bowl with a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top for a beautiful presentation. You can also drizzle with a swirl of coconut milk for added visual appeal.

Pairing Recommendations

Cassava soup pairs well with a side of rice, bread, or plantains. A side salad or steamed vegetables can also complement the dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover cassava soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until heated through before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of cassava soup contains approximately 300-400 calories, depending on the portion size and ingredients used.


Cassava is a rich source of carbohydrates, providing energy and fuel for the body. The cassava in this soup adds a hearty and filling element to the dish.


The pickled fish and coconut milk in this soup add a small amount of healthy fats to the dish, providing flavor and richness.


The shank and pickled fish in this soup are excellent sources of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.

Vitamins and minerals

Cassava is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium. The vegetables and spices in this soup also provide additional nutrients and antioxidants.


This recipe contains fish and may not be suitable for those with fish allergies. Be sure to check for any other allergens in the ingredients used.


Cassava soup is a nutritious and satisfying dish that is rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is a hearty and flavorful meal that is perfect for cold winter days or special occasions.


Cassava soup is a delicious and nutritious dish that is perfect for cold winter days or special occasions. This hearty and flavorful soup is made with cassava, meat, vegetables, and spices, creating a rich and satisfying meal that is sure to please. Enjoy this traditional recipe with your family and friends for a taste of the tropics.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a happy one that takes me back to my childhood in the lush countryside of Jamaica. I was just a young girl, eager to learn the ways of the kitchen from my mother, who was a skilled cook with a knack for creating delicious meals out of the simplest ingredients.

One day, while out in the fields helping my father with the cassava harvest, I noticed my mother talking excitedly to one of our neighbors. Curious, I crept closer to listen in on their conversation. They were discussing the different ways to cook cassava, a staple crop in our village that we used in a variety of dishes.

As I listened, my mother's friend mentioned a recipe for Cassava Soup that she had learned from her own grandmother. She described how the soup was hearty and flavorful, perfect for warming up on a cold day. Intrigued, I begged my mother to ask for the recipe, and she kindly obliged.

That evening, as we sat down to dinner, my mother announced that we would be trying a new dish - Cassava Soup. As she gathered the ingredients and began to prepare the soup, I watched intently, eager to learn the secrets of this delicious recipe.

The first step was to peel and grate the cassava, a laborious task that required patience and precision. My mother showed me how to carefully remove the tough outer skin of the cassava root, revealing the soft, starchy flesh beneath. Using a grater, we shredded the cassava into fine strands, ready to be added to the soup.

Next, my mother chopped onions, garlic, and bell peppers, filling the kitchen with their fragrant aroma. She heated a pot on the stove and added a splash of oil, allowing it to sizzle before tossing in the vegetables. As they sizzled and softened, she added the grated cassava, stirring it all together until it formed a thick, creamy base.

To this, she added rich chicken broth, fresh thyme, and a touch of spicy scotch bonnet pepper for heat. The soup simmered on the stove, filling the air with a tantalizing scent that made my stomach growl in anticipation. Finally, my mother stirred in tender chunks of chicken, sweet corn, and buttery dumplings, letting them cook until they were tender and flavorful.

As we sat down to eat, I took my first spoonful of the Cassava Soup and savored the taste of my mother's hard work. The soup was creamy and comforting, with a rich flavor that warmed me from the inside out. The cassava added a unique texture, making each bite satisfying and filling.

From that moment on, Cassava Soup became a staple in our household, a dish that we would enjoy on cool evenings or special occasions. Whenever I make it now, I am reminded of that day in my mother's kitchen, learning the art of cooking and carrying on the tradition of sharing delicious meals with loved ones.

Over the years, I have made this recipe my own, adding my own twist with different spices and ingredients. But the core of the dish remains the same - a hearty, flavorful soup that brings comfort and joy to all who taste it. And I am grateful to my mother's friend for sharing her grandmother's recipe with us, a gift that has been passed down through generations and continues to bring happiness to our family to this day.


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