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How to make Haitian Bouillon or Beef and Veggies Soup

Haitian Bouillon - Caribbean Green Living

More than just a soup, Haitian Bouillon (“boo-yon”) is a vibrant tapestry of flavors and textures, a cultural touchstone that dances on the tongue and warms the soul. This hearty concoction of beef, vegetables, and spices, traditionally enjoyed on Saturdays, is a symphony passed down through generations, bringing families together around a steaming pot of goodness. Each spoonful unveils a masterpiece steeped in Haitian identity and woven with love.

Ready to embark on a culinary adventure to the heart of Haiti? Let’s get cooking!

A Symphony of Savory with Haitian Bouillon (bouyon):

Imagine this: tender chunks of beef swimming in a rich, flavorful broth, studded with chunks of soft plantain, earthy malanga, and pops of bright orange from carrots. Each spoonful bursts with complex notes, the earthy sweetness of the vegetables mingling with the savory depth of the beef and the subtle heat of epis, Haiti’s signature green seasoning blend.

The Heart of the Dish: Epis

Epis is the soul of the Haitian Bouillon (soup) recipe. This vibrant green mixture, made with a symphony of fresh herbs and aromatics like onions, bell peppers, garlic, parsley, and Scotch bonnet peppers or Habanero (optional, for a fiery kick!), is the secret weapon that infuses the soup with its unique Haitian identity.

Fresh Herbs and Spices Seasoning (Haitian Epis)

Beyond the Beef:

While beef is the traditional protein of choice, Haitian Bouillon is incredibly versatile. Feel free to swap it out for chicken, fish, shrimp, or even a vegetarian option like lentils or tofu. The essence of the dish lies in the rich broth and the harmonious blend of vegetables, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

A Symphony of Ingredients:

The foundation of any good Bouillon is a flavorful base. Traditionally, this is built upon well-seasoned meat, often beef, though chicken, seafood, or even vegetarian options can be used. The meat is simmered to succulent tenderness, infusing the broth with its rich essence.

A vibrant medley of vegetables then joins the party, each adding its unique character to the pot. Spinach, carrots, parsnips, chayote, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, malanga, plantains, potatoes, and even sweet potatoes all find their way into the Bouillon, painting a colorful and nutritious landscape on your plate.

Haitian Bouillon Ingredients

The Dance of Dumplings:

No Haitian Bouillon is complete without its signature dumplings. These little pockets of dough, infused with the aromatic essence of Epis, a Haitian green seasoning blend, bob playfully in the broth, offering delightful bursts of flavor with every bite.

A Feast for the Senses:

Haitian Bouillon is not just about the taste; it’s a multi-sensory experience. The aroma of epis wafting through the kitchen is an invitation to gather around the table. The vibrant colors of the vegetables paint a beautiful picture in your bowl. And the first sip? An explosion of flavor that warms your soul from the inside out.

Beyond the Recipe:

The true magic of Haitian Bouillon lies in its ability to connect people. It’s a dish that brings families together sparks conversation and creates memories that last a lifetime. So, gather your loved ones, whip up a pot of this flavorful soup, and let the warmth of Haitian cuisine fill your home.

Haitian Bouillon - Caribbean Green Living
Haitian Bouillon

Don’t Forget the Sides!:

No Haitian Bouillon experience is complete without the perfect accompaniments. Traditionally, the soup is served with pikliz (spicy pickled vegetables), accra (akra) (fritters made from malanga), and diri ak pwa (rice and beans). These side dishes add contrasting textures, tangy flavors, and a touch of Haitian soul to your meal.

Ready to Take the Plunge?

Dive into the world of Haitian Bouillon and discover a culinary adventure unlike any other. With its bold flavors, heartwarming richness, and cultural significance, this is a dish that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. So, grab your ingredients, crank up the music, and let the Haitian beats guide you as you create this flavorful masterpiece in your own kitchen.

Beyond Tradition:

While Bouillon is traditionally enjoyed on Saturdays in Haitian culture, there’s no reason to limit yourself to just one day a week. This versatile dish is a perfect candidate for any meal, offering a complete and healthy one-pot wonder.

Feel free to experiment with the recipe and make it your own. Some families swear by coconut milk, while others prefer the fresh acidity of tomatoes. The key is to find the combination that sings to your palate, creating a Bouillon that reflects your unique culinary personality.

A Few Tips for Bouillon Bliss:

  • Spice it Up: If you like your soup spicy, add a Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper to the epis or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the pot.
  • Seafood Surprise: For a twist, swap the beef for chicken, fish, or shrimp.
  • Plantain Power: Don’t like plantains? You can substitute them with green beans or corn.
  • Leftover Love: Bouillon tastes even better the next day! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Season well: The meat is often the base of the flavor, so ensure it’s generously seasoned with Epis before taking a swim in the broth.
  • Separate but equal: Cook the vegetables and dumplings in a separate pot to retain their individual textures before marrying them with the meat and broth for the grand finale.
  • Every spoonful is a celebration: Bouillon is about experiencing a kaleidoscope of flavors with each bite. Let the different ingredients shine, creating a harmonious chorus on your tongue.

So, why not embark on your own Haitian Bouillon adventure? Gather your loved ones, crank up the music, and let the intoxicating aromas of this delectable dish fill your kitchen. With a little love and creativity, you’ll be whipping up Bouillon masterpieces that will have you dancing with delight in no time.

And remember, if you’re looking for an extra kick, feel free to add a dash of Noubess Hot and Spicy sauce – just a little goes a long way!

Hot Sauces
Hot Sauces – Noubess.

Dive into Deliciousness: The Many Benefits of Haitian Bouillon

Haitian Bouillon, an explosion of flavor and warmth in every bowl, isn’t just a delightful dish; it’s a treasure trove of nutritional benefits for your body and soul. Let’s dive into the reasons why incorporating this complete meal into your diet is a fantastic choice:

1. A Multivitamin Explosion: Haitian Bouillon is packed with a diverse array of vitamins and minerals thanks to its abundance of ingredients:

  • Vegetables: Spinach, carrots, parsnips, chayote, tomatoes, and peppers boast vitamins A, C, and K, essential for immunity, vision, and bone health.
  • Starchy staples: Plantains, potatoes, and sweet potatoes provide complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, fiber for gut health, and important minerals like potassium and magnesium.
  • Meat or seafood: Protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, and Bouillon offers choices like beef, chicken, or fish, each with its unique amino acid profile.

2. Fuel for Your Day: This hearty one-pot meal is a champion at keeping you feeling full and energized throughout the day. The complex carbohydrates from starch and the protein from meat provide sustained energy release, preventing those dreaded mid-afternoon slumps.

3. Gut Feeling Good: Haitian Bouillon is a fantastic source of dietary fiber, particularly from vegetables like spinach and malanga. Fiber keeps your digestive system happy and healthy, promoting regularity and aiding in nutrient absorption.

4. Immunity Boost: The vitamin C richness of ingredients like spinach, bell peppers, and tomatoes, combined with the immune-supporting zinc and iron found in meat or seafood, make Bouillon a natural ally in keeping you healthy and fighting off those pesky bugs.

5. Comfort Food for the Soul: Beyond the physical benefits, Haitian Bouillon holds immense cultural significance. Sharing a pot of this soul-warming soup with loved ones fosters connection brings back cherished memories, and creates a sense of community. The warmth of the broth and the vibrant flavors provide comfort and nourishment for the heart, making it more than just a meal.

A Few Bonus Tips:

  • Spice it up!: The optional heat from Scotch bonnet peppers in Epis or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper adds a spicy kick and boosts metabolism.
  • Go green!: Opt for fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro for an extra dose of vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Limit coconut milk: While some enjoy the richness of coconut milk, be mindful of added saturated fat. Fresh tomatoes offer a healthy and flavorful alternative.

So, there you have it! Haitian Bouillon is more than just a delicious meal; it’s a nutritional powerhouse that nourishes your body and soul.

Beyond the Recipe:

Haitian Bouillon is more than just a delicious meal; it’s a cultural experience. It’s a dish that brings families together sparks conversation and creates memories that last a lifetime. So, gather your loved ones, whip up a pot of this flavorful soup, and let the warmth of Haitian cuisine fill your home.

Haitian Bouillon is more than just a soup; it’s a vibrant tapestry of flavors and textures woven together to create a culinary masterpiece. Every Haitian household has its own take on this beloved dish, passed down through generations like a cherished family heirloom. While the specific ingredients and methods may vary, the essence of Bouillon remains the same: a hearty symphony of meat, vegetables, spices, and, of course, the soul-warming comfort of a simmered broth.

I hope this blog post inspires you to try your hand at making Haitian Bouillon. It’s a dish that’s sure to become a new favorite in your household!

Bon appétit!

I hope this expanded take on Haitian Bouillon has piqued your interest and inspired you to give this incredible dish a try. Remember, cooking is a journey, so don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own. And most importantly, savor the experience of sharing this delicious taste of Haitian culture with your loved ones.

Haitian bouillon is a vibrant tapestry of flavors!

Haitian Bouillon

Bouillon – Beef and Veggies Soup

Bouillon is a traditional dish in Haiti usually prepared on Saturdays. It is full of root vegetables and leafy vegetables. It also contain meat and/or seafood.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 6
Calories 758 kcal


  • 2 pounds beef beef shanks, beef chuck or bottom round
  • 4 soft blue crabs optional
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice fresh
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • 2 scallions finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 tablespoons garlic finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper ground
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 4 cups spinach well packed
  • 1 chayote peeled and cut in small cubes
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut in slices
  • 2 parsnips peeled and cut in slices
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut in cubes
  • 2 medium white sweet potatoes peeled and cut in cubes, white sweet potatoes or yellow if you prefer
  • 2 malanga or Yautia. peeled and cut in cubes
  • 1 large green plantain peeled and cut in 2.5cm (1″ slices)
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon powder
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • ½ of a hot pepper or 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce


  • Juice lime and set aside. Rinse meat under running water. Clean meat with lime and rinse again with water. Pat dry and place in a bowl. Add parsley, salt, ground black pepper, garlic, scallions, thyme and lime juice. Marinate at least 2 hours or overnight. Boil meat first with its own juice. Add water gradually until meat is fully cooked. Once fully cooked, prepare the dumplings.
  • In a bowl, add flour, water, salt, black pepper, sweet paprika. Mix all ingredients until there are no lumps. (best to mix with your hands). With a spoon or with your hands form 2.5 cm (1″) or 5 cm (2″) dumplings. Set aside.
  • If using blue crabs, clean blue crab, remove shell and cut in half in center. Season either with seafood spice or your regular spice. Set aside.
  • In a large stockpot, at medium heat, add oil, onions and green peppers. Fry for about 2 – 3 minutes. Add spinach, chayote, carrot, tomatoes and parsnip. Fry all veggies for 4 – 5 minutes. Add 8 cups of water and cover to boil. Let veggies cook for about 7 – 8 minutes. Add meat and the remaining ingredients, including dumplings. Cover ajar and let boil until all ingredients including dumplings are fully cooked about 25 – 30 minutes. Add blue crabs if using and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes. Additional garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. If mixture if too thick add additional water. Remove from heat and serve hot.


Bouillon is a traditional dish in Haiti usually prepared on Saturdays. It is full of root vegetables and leafy vegetables. It also contains meat and/or seafood. Many people prepare it with meat, seafood, or both.
Cooking time will differ based on the ingredients you use. 
If you need to learn how to clean blue crabs, check out this link: http://www.bluecrab.info/cbyc.html.


Calories: 758kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 35gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 2154mgPotassium: 1368mgFiber: 9gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 12378IUVitamin C: 52mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 7mg

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword Seafood Stew, soup, Soup Day
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

Originally published on April 20, 2013. Revised and updated to add additional content.


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