". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Grenadian Cuisine - Callaloo Soup

One of the benefits of staying in a cottage is the ability to do some cooking rather than eating out all the time. And believe me, we will be doing a lot of cooking while we're here. Two weeks of restaurants for a family of five? I think not.

So the night before last I tried my hand at a staple dish of the Grenadian people: callaloo soup. On our first trip to Grenada my husband and I enjoyed various versions of this dish in several of the restaurants we visited, so I had some idea of how it should turn out. I used a recipe provided in the guest guide here at Lance aux Epines. The main ingredient is any of a variety of leafy greens--we used Taro (although it was labelled as "callaloo" in the store, there is actually no such thing as a callaloo plant). The other main ingredients are coconut milk, garlic, thyme, chives, onions and sweet peppers.

Here are the Tao leaves with stems on, before washing:

Washed and de-stemmed:

The instructions called for chopping the leaves. I couldn't find a chopping board in the kitchen (I did later on), so I just hand-shredded the leaves. The first step was to boil leaves only in water for about 5-10 minutes. Then the other ingredients were added and all was simmered for approximately 20 minutes. The recipe I had was very general--no amounts given--so I did it all by intuition. Here's the final result:

My family seemed to approve. But the next morning when our maid dropped in (I just love the sound of that . . . the words just tumble out so easily . . . I think I'll say them again . . . "our maid") and I shared with her my cooking experiment she suggested running the soup through the blender to get a smoother consistency. Then she kindly took care of doing just that. Here's the blended version:

The cost for the ingredients for this soup was about $20 EC (Eastern Caribbean dollar), which correlates to about $8 U.S. A good portion of that was spices that I will not have to buy again. Leaves, milk, onion and pepper for another round of soup will add up to about $10-$12 EC or $4-5 U.S. I think we'll be having this again!

1 comment:

elephantschild said...

Hmmm... I wonder if in Grenada "soup" doesn't mean soup, but a soft-textured sauce that goes over rice?

Because if you made Calloo w/ Amaranth, like the wikipedia article mentions, you'd have something similar to Liberian "potato greens" which goes by the name "soup" in Liberia.

Your vacation is making me HOMESICK!