Posted by Tim Vidra / Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Amaranth (Callaloo) Soup Recipe
Last week's CSA box brought callaloo. Callawhat? Well, callaloo — a well known name in the West Indies for this spinach-like green and you may just have heard its more common name, amaranth. A tougher leaf than spinach and with many varieties (some even considered weeds), callaloo has many uses from the leaf, to stems and even seed. Trying to decide what to do with basically 1 1/2 pounds of this brought me to The Domestic Man and his recipe for Caribbean green soup.
As mentioned above, spinach can be substituted in this recipe but I was lucky enough to have actual amaranth or callaloo.
It can be methodical chopping up a variety of vegetables — peppers, onions and I substituted sweet potato as opposed to the called for squash for a heartier finish. You can begin to see the island feel of this recipe with the habanero and sweet potato. I used all of the callaloo except for the very large stems at the bottom.
As the original recipe mentions, many people add meat to this dish — salt pork, crab, or chicken is popular. I cooked 1 skin on, bone-in thigh with the vegetables.
After the peppers and chicken cooked for about 12 minutes the habanero, okra and sweet potato were added and stirred to combine. Then coconut milk and stock were added, this simmered with wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen. After about 20 minutes the callaloo was put in a handful at a time until wilted into the soup. This simmered for about another 25 minutes (less time is needed for spinach).
Before serving, the chicken was removed and shredded. An immersion blender was then put into the soup which blended and chopped everything. The chicken was returned to the pot, stirred and then served immediately.
I would certainly recommend this soup, especially if you come across callaloo. I did not feel the habanero added any spice and per the recipe I was careful not to burst the pepper while cooking it. So I would probably change the pepper to add a little more heat and I did use a little more broth than the recipe called for.
Otherwise, a flavorful warming and filling summer soup.
E.A.T. local E.A.T well