I must mention that I used chicken broth in this recipe and you’ll find it’s listed under the vegetarian section of the website so please use vegetable stock to make this fully vegetarian as I didn’t have any left in the pantry when I was putting the recipe together. If you can’t source Jamaican callaloo (chorai bhaji), any ‘greens’ will work (spinach, collard greens… even the green parts of pak choi (bok choy) or Swiss chard).
The flavors from the fresh herbs, scotch bonnet pepper, onion and the textures of the sweet potato and callaloo, will all combine for an excellent Caribbean inspired soup.
3 cups chicken broth
1 can (540 mL) Bean Medley
1 large onion diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
8 cups Jamaican callaloo
1/4 cup parsley leaves with stems
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper.
1 diced sweet potato
2 scallions (spring / green onions)
1 tablespoon thyme
Notes. use veg stock for the veg version of this recipe. If you don’t have coconut oil, use extra virgin olive oil.
Start by prepping the ingredients.. wash, chop and dice. The sweet potato is peeled and diced as you would any regular potato and try to cube them in the same sizes. Remember to wear gloves when handling the scotch bonnet pepper, wash your hands with soap and do not include any of the seeds. That’s where the real fire is when it comes to such lethal peppers.
Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot on medium heat, then add the diced onion, garlic, parsley, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper. Turn the heat down to low and let that gently cook for about 3-5 minutes. We’re creating a lovely base for the soup at this point.
Wash, drain and trim the callaloo (cut into smaller pieces).. feel free to use any tender stems if you wish. Tough stems will not cook down and will give the soup a woody texture. Now add all the chopped callaloo to the pot and give it a good stir. It will wilt down as it cooks.
Add the cubed potatoes and all the other ingredients to the pot. Bring that up to a boil and reduce with the cover slightly ajar to a rolling boil for about 20-25 minutes.
I don’t like using beans straight out of the can, so I usually place the beans in a strainer and let cool water run over them to remove the grit and excess sodium in packed in.
Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. The vegetables will still have their shape so it’s now up to you (if you want to thicken it up a bit as I did), to use a stick blender and give it a couple quick buzz. DO NOT over do it. If you don’t have a stick (immersion) blender, you can take about a cup or 2 (not all) out and place it in your traditional blender and give it a couple pulses. Then return it back to the pot and give everything a good mix. If you don’t have either you can use a whisk or swizzle stick to break things down a little so it thicken up a bit.
This recipe is enough for 4-6 people as a starter and 3-4 as a full meal with some coconut bake or your favourite bread… please serve hot.
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