This recipe was successfully tried by Dale Mackey.See her post here. Thanks so much!
P is a big time movie buff.So much so that he watches a movie every alternate day..sometimes daily too..or maybe two in a day.Needless to say that he resorts to renting, buying even borrowing movie CDs.Not to leave behind the regular rentals and purchases from Apple store.If any one of you need any suggestion on movies, please contact me..he ll be more than happy to help.I sometimes accompany him to the video library.Sometimes because while he is choosing from the vast collection, it becomes difficult for me to pass time. I like those stores which have a magazine stand or a telebrands counter or even a craft section to make it convenient for me to kill my boredom.
Anyhow,on one of such visits I picked up the Oprah Magazine Cookbook trying to wither away my impatience.My usual habit is to flip straight to the dessert section of the book.This time around also it was no different but somehow my eyes caught this beautiful image of a green soup called “callaloo“. The name of the soup itself was quite catchy [okay I found it too cute ].The accompanying picture on the right hand page was no doubt gorgeous but a spinach soup didn’t quite ring a bell.I m not big on creamy soups.I like spicy soups preferably brothy which are chewy, with lots of vegetable or meat chunks.Again P is opposite-he adores bacon-potato, french onion, sweet peas soup and such sweetish stuff. As soups do not form a big part of meal in India, I never really had a chance to experiment or develop a liking.The only common soups we like are lentil and chicken noodle.Period.
Coming back to the recipe, as I started reading, first ingredient was spanish onion…well sweetish for me in a soup,second garlic…hmm…okay..followed by green chillies,coriander seeds & cumin (now we are talking)..then there was coconut milk,chicken stock and limes (I was already sold)..I must say it was the most amazing find of the day- a Caribbean spinach soup with coconut milk and known indian spices!! Given the fact that we are Thai food & hence coconut
lovers freaks,I had to try this recipe,there was no choice.
I did not buy the book, came back,googled and found that callaloo is a Caribbean dish with a leafy vegetable as the main ingredient..its sort of a gumbo with okra, seafood, taro plant leaves etc.You can read about it here.I made this soup after our systems were crying out fibrous diet from all the eating out on memorial day weekend.It came out so amazing.I spiked the spice level a bit to overcome the sweetness of coconut milk & reduced the cream.No matter how green or plain it looks in the pictures,this soup is rich and luscious.The combination of spicy & creamy worked for me.The first thing that hits the tongue is the coconut flavor followed by smoothness from the pureed spinach and then spices hit at the back of the tongue.Its sweetish,spicy,salty & tangy – all in one.Need I say more? A lovely recipe which is a keeper.Below it goes:-
Adapted from The Oprah Magazine Cookbook, Recipe by Chef Marcus Samuelson of Food Network
Ingredients [Serves 2-3]
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped spanish onion
- 2 Thai green chillies, minced [You can use jalapeno or remove seeds to reduce heat level]
- 2 garlic cloves,grated
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds,crushed
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorns,crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken stock [ or vegetable broth/water]
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 10 oz fresh spinach,chopped [equivalent quantity of thawed frozen spinach]
- 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice [adjust to taste]
- Salt to taste [to be added at last]
- Red Chilli Flakes, Sour Cream etc for garnish
- In a heavy bottomed pot,melt the butter on medium heat.While it is melting add the grated garlic and green chillies.Let cook for 30-40 seconds till you start smelling the aroma.
- Next add the chopped onions and saute till translucent. About 3 -5 minutes.
- Next add the cumin,crushed coriander seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf.Saute for another 30 seconds.
- Now, reduce the heat to minimum and add the chicken stock, coconut milk.Let simmer on very low heat for 30 minutes.
- While the broth is simmering, add the chopped spinach and bring to a boil.Cook for 6-8 minutes till the spinach is cooked.In case you are using thawed frozen spinach, the cooking time will be less. Tip:-To preserve the color of the spinach do not cover the pot.
- Once the spinach has cooked, reduce the heat to minimum and add the cream and salt to taste.Simmer for a while and remove from heat within 2 minutes.Note:-After adding cream, do not let soup come to a boil.
- Once the mixture has slightly cooled down, discard the bay leaf & puree in a food processor until smooth.
- Serve warm in bowls garnished with red chilli flakes,dollop of sour cream/butter etc.