To Cook Is to Love — A Foodie’s Journal: A Warming Trend From the Tropics

John VerlindenJohn Verlinden
Photo: Rachel Power

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John Verlinden

John Verlinden
Photo: Rachel Power

By: John Verlinden*/TRT Columnist—

The forecast this time of year is often for blowing snow and bitter cold. I sometimes ask myself: “Why is it again that we live at the North Pole?” Our winters are long and tough, and I’m always looking for ways to beat the chill. A mid-winter beach getaway would be nice, but many of us can’t afford a tropical vacation. Bringing a taste of the Caribbean home for dinner, however, is within everyone’s budget. [pullquote]Next time there’s a storm, make a batch of my plantain soup. If you haven’t cooked with plantains before, this recipe from my new book, To Cook is To Love, is a good one to try.[/pullquote]

Next time there’s a storm, make a batch of my plantain soup. If you haven’t cooked with plantains before, this recipe from my new book, To Cook is To Love, is a good one to try. Plantain soup is a hearty, delicious and inexpensive comfort food that’s easy to make. Add a salad and a sandwich and you’ve got a dinner that will make the howling wind and snow falling outside a little more bearable. Plantains are also good for us—low in sodium, rich in potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. They are a good source of fiber, and a cup of cooked plantains is only 125 calories.

Sopa de Platano (Plantain Soup ) Serves: 8

Ingredients:

6 cups beef stock

4 green plantains (peeled and cut into chunks)

1 medium potato (pared and quartered)

1 large onion (peeled and quartered)

1 large green pepper (cored, seeded and quartered)

6 cloves garlic (peeled)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon powdered cumin

½ teaspoon dried leaf oregano (crushed)

Directions:

1. In a large deep pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook slowly for about an hour or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Remove from heat.

4. Ladle the cooked vegetables and broth into the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.

5. Pour the soup into serving bowls and garnish with cheese or a fried plantain chip.

Variation: Plantain Soup is a great choice for vegan or vegetarian guests.  Substitute vegetable stock for the beef in the recipe above.

*To share your favorite winter recipe, ask a question or suggest a topic for a future article— contact me at john@muchogusto.com or visit www.muchogusto.com for more plantain recipes and join our Latin food forum.

Until next time —  ¡Mucho Gusto!, ¡Muchas Gracias! y ¡Buen Provecho!

 

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