Easy callaloo soup recipe
Callaloo soup is a “One Pot” hearty dish that is very popular in the Caribbean. Dominica has adopted callaloo at its main national dish. This wonderful dish is prepared during national or traditional holidays, celebrations, or when there is a need to connect with our culture.
As early as I could remember, callaloo soup was common to most households, especially in the villages, or countryside, as often referenced.
The preparation varies according to preferences in types of leaves used. Young dasheen (taro) or tannia leaves are the traditional leaves in Dominica, used to make authentic callaloo soup. However, a spinach-like plant, called callaloo in neighboring islands, and spinach are also great candidates when dasheen and tannia plants aren’t available. People have experimented with collard greens as the base for callaloo; but, because of the toughness of collard greens, it isn’t the best option for this creamy tasting dish.
Although widely a vegetarian dish, yet in Dominica, smoked and salted meat, or crab are also used to enhance the flavors, making a perfect addition. I prepare my soup just how my mother taught us, and I often use smoked meat that I purchase from my local grocery stores Safeway and 99 Ranch to prepare this easy callaloo soup recipe.
Another items that make up this savory soup are dumplings. Some locals may add green plantains, yam, and green bananas, among other staples, locally known as provisions to their soup. In my household, we’re all huge fans of dumplings. So all our soups will include some version of dumpling. We like the taste and texture of both cornmeal and banana dumplings, but we’ve always preferred the traditional flour version.
Callaloo soup, this creamy tasting, yet thick consistency and filling meal, tastes similar to a hearty Thai soup with coconut milk and lots of spices. Even though the coconut milk isn’t a star in the dish, it enhances the taste and balances the leaf flavor.
Here’s my easy callaloo soup recipe
Dominica callaloo soup recipe
- 2 lbs Young dasheen, or tannia leaves You can also use spinach
- 1 lbs Boiled smoked or salty meat optional
- 1 cup Coconut milk Use a can of coconut milk if you can't find a shelled coconut
- 1 Large onion
- 5 cups Water
- 1 tbsp Celery chopped
- 1 tbsp Thyme chopped
- 4 blades Chive
- 1 Hot pepper
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 2 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Black pepper
- 1½ tbsp Turmeric
- 10 small Dumplings A dough made with flour, salt and water
- Wash and peel outer skin from dasheen or tannia leaves
- Chop the leaves and boil in 3 cups of water add a 1/2 tablespoon of salt
- If using spinach wash and chop leaves
- Chop onion, chive and garlic
- Add oil to a large pot on medium heat
- Stir in onion, celery and garlic to heated oil, saute for 3 minutes
- Pour in coconut milk and rest of water in the pot
- Add dasheen, tannia leaves or spinach leaves
- Use a handheld (immersion blender) and pulse leaves mixture in the pot for about 1 minute
- Add thyme and hot pepper
- Add dumplings
- Boil meat separately to reduce salt and tenderize (don't over-cook)
- Add meat (salted pork, smoked meat)
- Season with the remainder of the salt and black pepper
- Cover pot and let simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Once cooked it can be served by itself, with white rice or bread