Jamaican Mannish Water (Goat Soup) is easy as 1, 2, 3

Bowl of mannish water (goat soup).
Image © Noel Cunningham

“Mannish water soup is served hot as an appetizer in Jamaica, at large gatherings, like setup (wake), weddings and parties. The broth is wonderful and full of deep, goat flavours with a hint of spice.”Chef Noel Cunningham, Cuisine by Noel

2 lb goat head and feet

1/2 lb pumpkin, washed and diced

2 carrots, peeled, washed and diced

1 Irish potato, peeled, washed and diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Few grains of pimento (allspice)

Salt to taste

1 cup flour (to make dumplings)

1 lb yellow yam

3 stalks scallion

3 fingers green banana, washed and sliced (leave skin on)

2 sprigs fresh green thyme

1 green hot pepper

Cut the goat’s head and feet into small pieces. Place in a medium-size pot of boiling water. The water must be enough to cover the goat’s head.  Bring pot to a boil, over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the water.

Put the goat head and feet to boil in four cups of water over high heat. Add a few grains of pimento (allspice) and 2 cloves garlic. Boil the goat head and feet until partially cooked; add more water if needed.

Add the pumpkin, carrot and banana and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make your dumplings. Set aside. Add yam and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Add the dumplings, scallion, thyme and hot pepper then salt and pepper to taste. Stir and lower the heat.

Let simmer until soup becomes thick then remove from heat.

Serve hot. 

Noel Cunningham


Noel is a Jamaican chef who creates culinary experiences that bring people together with great food.