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February 4, 2020 | Recipes

Chef Colin’s Granma’s Cockle Soup

The story behind the dish:

Chef Colin explains: This dish was done every Saturday by my Grandmother, all made with all items from her backyard with exception of flour, fish from local fisherman less than a mile away, cockles I had to catch by the beach while waiting with her to for the boats to come in with daily catch.

This was pure fun as kid, the cockles live in the shoreline and whenever the waves came in it take the sand away and you had catch cockles and place them in a bucket before they dug themselves back into the sand.

My mother took over the cooking of this dish and now I have, so this is something I will pass on to my children to have this experience of catching cockles and making the soup.


  • 1 lbs small fish red mullet/snapper (whole)
  • 2 lb cockles (maybe substituted with clams/mussels)
  • 3 litres of water
  • ½ lb pumpkin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 stalks green onion (scallion)
  • 1 medium potatoes
  • 2 fingers of green bananas (firm)
  • 1 green scotch bonnet pepper
  • ¼ lb flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper
  • A few pimento seeds
  • A few annatto seeds
  • 2 lemons or limes


  • Wash cockles of sand and all debris, wash in fish in lemon and drain.
  • Combine the fish, garlic and water to boil until fish is off the bones of the fish.
  • Pour the contents through a strainer and remove all bones, then place the liquid and fish back on to cook and add cockles.
  • Mix the flour with a pinch of salt add water to knead into dough, to make spinners (Jamaican dumplings) add to fish stock.
  • Wash the potatoes, pumpkin and cut into small-diced pieces, slice green bananas and add all to soup.
  • Add all other ingredients, check seasoning, simmer until cockles are open and all vegetables are cooked and spinner floating.