From the earliest habitation by Indians from South America, soup has staked its claim as one of the most traditional Island foods. As in other parts of the world, soup's basic simplicity and versitility makes it the perfect showcase for whatever is fresh and available. Caribbean soups will leave you hankering for more, especially thick, hearty concoctions that make one's mouth water. Some of the ingredients (Mondongo/tripe comes to mind) may make one go "Yuck!" Black slaves were very creative cooks with what was left over or allowed them. But there's nothing yucky about this savory dish, don't turn up your noses or prejudge my friends. Give it a taste and that way you may discover a truly hearty delight.
Callaloo and Potato Soup
Ingredients 2 Quarts water 2 small smoked ham hocks
1/2 lb beef short ribs 1 teaspoon salt
2 medium baking potatoes, diced 1-1/2 lbs. callaloo, chopped
3 tablespoons bacon drippings 1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped 1 Scotch Bonnet, chopped
Pour water into a large pot: add ham hocks, short ribs, and salt. Bring to a boil; remove foam with a skimmer or spoon. Reduce
heat and simmer 30 minutes, then add potatoes and callalloo.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat bacon drippings; add onion
and bell pepper. Cook until onion is transparent. Add to
soup with chile. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes
then cover pot and cook until potatoes are done. Serves 6.
Cow-Foot Soup with Beans
1 whole cow foot 1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tomatoes, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme 1 Scotch Bonnet chili pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons curry powder 1/2 lb. cooked broad beans
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Have butcher cut cow foot in small pieces. Place pieces in a large sauce pan, cover with water and simmer until tender (2 1/2 to 3 hrs.) Remove bone and discard.
Leave just enough liquid in the pan to make a gravy. Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, thyme, chili, and curry powder. Cover and simmer until liquid begins to thicken. Add cooked beans and simmer 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
Caribbean Soup (Sancocho)
A. 3 quarts (12 cups) water 1 onion, peeled
2 tomatoes 1 green pepper, seeded, 1 sweet chili pepper,
seeded 3 fresh culantro leaves
(underlined items should be coarsely chopped)
1 tablespoon salt 2 fresh corn kernels, halved
B. 1 lb. lean beef 1/2 lb. lean pork meat with bone
C. 1/2 lb.yucca 1/2 lb. yam 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes
1/2 lb. potatoes 1/2 lb pumpkin
(provisions/ground food ingedients in C should be peeled and diced.)
D. 1 large green plantain 1 large ripe plantain (peeled and diced)
E. 1 tablespoon salt 1/2 cup tomato sauce
In a large, 12 quart kettle, combine ingredients included in A. Bring rapidly to a boil. Clean and wash meats. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
Add meats and bone to kettle. Cover, reduce to moderate heat, and cook for 1 hour.
Wash vegetables included in C and add to kettle. Rinse green plantain rapidly in salted water. Drain and add to
kettle together with ripe plantain.
Add salt and tomato sauce and bring rapidly to a boil. Cover, and cook over moderate heat for 30 minutes.
Uncover, add prepared dumplings (optional---(see separate dumpling recipe) and cook rapidly for another 15 minutes.
Cold Mango Soup with Rum
5 mangoes 1 cup sugar 5 cups chicken stock (see Basics) 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 or 2 whole cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rum 1/2 cup whipping cream freshly grated nutmeg if desired.
Peel, seed and chop mangoes, then place them with the rest of the ingredients except rum, whipped cream and nutmeg in a heavy sauce-pan. Cook over medium heat; skim any foam from top. Reduce until about 1/4 of original liquid has evaporated, then press mixture through a sieve. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Add rum immediately before serving. Whip cream in a small bowl. Top each serving with whipped cream and dash of nutmeg, if desired. Make 6 servings.