Amazon Lodge Cuisine  

 

Caribbean Callaloo soup, with coconut base,
a dash of ginger and crab 
 

 



 

I’ve tried to put together a recipe for the callaloo we make at the Lodge. You will find many, many variants on the Internet as it is popular all over the Caribbean, and by now I prepare mine more “by feel” than by measurement, but will try and jot down my version. It may look daunting at first, but once you know you have all the ingredients right, it really is just a question of throwing it all in a pot, simmering everything for about 40 minutes, then blending it at the end.

 

·         1 pack/bundle callaloo, the leaves and soft stem being cut into smallish pieces.

(I buy prepackaged cut-up leaves - in terms of actual amount, most recipes refer to 12 leaves. (see picture below)

A pack of baby spinach could substitute, but of course will lack the particular taste of the callaloo.
It is also known as dasheen leaves or taro - Colocasia esculenta - if you can find that in the US.)

 

 

 

·         5 – 8 ochroes, heads chopped off

·         4 stalks chive, roughly chopped

·         2 whole sprigs fresh French thyme

·         1 medium sized onion, roughly chopped

·         2 cloves garlic, roughly sliced

·         1 whole scotch bonnet (or any hot) pepper

·         fresh ginger (about 1cm x 1cm piece, or substitute with 2 tablespoons powder), chopped

·         5 chadon beni leaves (Eryngium foetidum or culantro or Mexican coriander), roughly cut up

·         slice of pumpkin about 10cm x 5cm x 3cm (adds sweetness, vary size to suit your preference), cubed

·         4 cups coconut milk (or 2 cups coconut milk + 2 cups water. I prefer the richness of more coconut flavor!)

·         Salt and pepper to taste

·         OPTIONAL: one blue crab, or pig’s tail, to add to the above while cooking to add a meaty flavor. As not everybody likes this, or to cater for vegetarians, I normally don’t do that anymore but instead add two 10g sachets of Maggi seasoning of whatever flavor suits your fancy: fish, all purpose, anything really

 

METHOD:  

 

1.      Combine the callaloo, chive, thyme, onion, garlic, hot pepper, ginger, chadon beni, pumpkin, Maggi seasoning and coconut milk in a large pot or skillet

 

2.      Put the ochroes in a separate small pot with a cup of water (you can simply add it to the big pot, but you reduce the “sliminess” of the end product by cooking the ochroes separately and discarding the slime from them afterwards, before adding to the rest).

 

3.      Bring both pots to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until everything is soft and cooked (may be shorter for ochroes, also check they don’t run out of water and burn to the pot)

 

4.      Drain ochroes and add to large pot.

 

5.      Remove the hot pepper (you can leave this in ONLY if you like REALLY hot food! That’s how many Trinidadian eat it, but I find it is far too hot for 99% of normal humans ha ha ha!)

 

6.      Swizzle ingredients or use a blender, until consistency is to your liking (I don’t liquidize it totally and leave a “roughness” to it.)

 

7.      Return to pot (if in blender) and remove thyme stems.

 

8.      Adjust salt and pepper

 

9.      Adjust thickness of soup by adding either water, coconut milk, or even almond milk, and reheat.

 

And enjoy! Hope the above made sense, just ask if anything is unclear. Also, as an alternative, prepare the same callaloo but keep it thick and serve it as a gravy alongside chicken and rice. Especially nice with Jamaican style jerk chicken.  

 

Much love, from Louise & Peter