YES! I’ll admit, there’s NOTHING better than a classic callaloo made with fresh ocean crabs (as mom makes). In some instances I even drool for Callaloo made with salted pigtails. However, when you’re based in Canada (away from the tropics) Smoked Turkey is a just-as-good replacement and dare I say, just as tasty? Here’s my take on this classic Caribbean soup, using ingredients I can source at my local shops.
1 smoked turkey drumstick
3 lb baby spinach (washed + rough chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (smashed)
3 scallions (chopped)
5 sprigs thyme (leaves)
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (sliced)
1 teaspoon salt (adjust)
2 seasoning peppers (aka pimento peppers)
15 okra (cut into 1 cm wheels)
2 cups cubed sweet potato
2 cups cubed squash or pumpkin
2 cups coconut milk
6-8 cups chicken stock (adjust)
Important. If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Especially the coconut milk and stock you decide on using.
In a deep soup pot heat the oil on a low flame, then add the onion, scallions, garlic , thyme leaves, black pepper, Scotch Bonnet pepper (no seeds) and pimento peppers if you can source it. Cook on low heat to bring out the flavors and not burn anything. about 3-4 minutes.
Add the smoked Turkey Leg (wash first with cool water) and stir. Then add the chicken stock and bring up to a boil – so turn up the heat.
Add the salt as it comes to a boil, followed by the okra and the coconut milk. Stir well to combine everything.
Now add the washed spinach (rough chop), followed by the sweet potato and pumpkin (or squash). Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Note! Traditionally, the baby leaves of the dasheen plant (taro) would be used instead of the spinach.
1 hour and 15 minutes later, remove the turkey drumstick and set aside to cool. Taste for salt, and once everything is soft and tender (cook a further 10-15 mins if needs be), it’s time to puree everything into a somewhat smooth (but thick) consistency. I used my traditional swizzle stick, but you can use a stick blender. May I recommend that you pulse it if using an electric blender so it does not produce a lot of foam/froth.
Now the turkey should be fully cool, stirp the meat off the bone and add it back to the pot.
Stir well, final taste for salt (adjust) and enjoy. This is an excellent stand-alone soup, or as a side dish to rice, ground provisions and stewed meats.
Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @ CaribbeanPot.com/CookBook/