My favorite soup while sailing along the eastern Caribbean island chain was Callaloo Soup with a gentle blend of Caribbean spices. It is easy to prepare, savory, and flavorful.
Callaloo leaves come from taro or amaranth plants. The leaves are packed with healthy nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, K, and are high in potassium, fiber, iron, and calcium. Although finding callaloo leaves in the United States might be a challenge; using either spinach and/or collard greens provides a similar alternative to this delicious soup with comparable flavor and nutrient value.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Simmering Time: 25 Minutes
Makes: 4 Cups
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
10 ounces fresh Callaloo leaves, stems removed – (Alternatively use 7 ounces (7 cups) fresh spinach leaves and 3 ounces (3 cups) collard greens, chopped (or use all spinach if collard greens are not available)
2 tablespoons water
1.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
½ cup whole coconut milk
Heat a large soup pot to medium heat. Add olive oil, then onion, salt, black pepper, and ground nutmeg. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes until onion softens.
Add either callaloo/spinach/or collard greens and water to the pot and heat with an occasional stir until leaves wilt. Remove pot from heat.
Transfer onion and cooked leaves to a blender, add broth and blend until fairly smooth.
Return to the pot, add a bay leaf, heat until bubbling gently, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add coconut milk, simmer for another five minutes, remove bay leaf, and serve.
(Use only low heat after you add the coconut milk as with high heat it will curdle.)
Steven Masley, MD