Thursday, October 9, 2008

Grenada Soup

So, I decided to make a soup I haven't had in years. My nanny from Grenada used to make it for me all the time when I was a little kid. I don't have a picture right now because I kind of ate the first three servings and forgot to take a picture before I gobbled it all up.

The greatest thing about this soup is that it is very satisfying, flavorful, a good meal replacement and EXTREMELY low in calorie, for those of you who are fighting the battle of the bulge. It relies on the delicate interplay of coconut and curry, but the rest of the ingredients are not set in stone. Traditionally, it is served fairly plain with carribbean dumplings in the soup, but I find that subbing Brussels sprouts gives a similar mouth-feel albeit a different (but delightful) flavor. I try to dump lots of veggies in because soup is a great way to get rid of leftovers, to use up frozen or fresh veggies and to get lots of nutrients and fiber up in your body in a delicious, warming way.

Grenada Soup

You Will Need:
1 c split peas (green, yellow or mixed! lentils work too, but only the red ones get the same consistency)
1 can light coconut milk
4-6 stalks celery (I just went ahead and used a whole heart)
2 carrots
1 large yellow onion (I used 2 small ones)
3-4 cloves garlic
2 cubes vegetable boullion (or 2-3 cups vegetable broth)
2 T curry powder blend (you can use any kind, whatever flavor tickles your fancy. if you don't have a blend, here's a food network version, or just toss in some turmeric, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, cardamom or cloves or cinnamon, paprika, and any other spices to taste)
A BIG bowl
Either a lot of mouthes to feed, or 3 or 4 decent sized tupperware containers.

If you're going traditional, you'll also need about 1 cup of flour.
I also used:
3/4 c butler's soy curls
8 oz Brussels sprouts
1 16oz bag frozen okra (note-- this was my first time using frozen okra and I recommend going through it and pulling out all the stem ends, something I would've done with fresh okra. I also strongly recommend using okra in this soup. It acts as an excellent thickening agent.)
2 C rough cut broccoli

1. Measure out your peas, rinse them, then stick them in a bowl with water to soak.
2. Finely chop your onions, 3 stalks of celery, carrots and garlic.
3. Heat a little coconut milk in your big pot and put your celery, carrots and garlic in there, stirring until the onions start to turn a little translucent and the celery turns bright green.
4. Add your curry powder, and then all other vegetables that were rough chopped (in my case, more celery, brussels sprouts, broccoli and okra. When they've been coated in the gooey coconut curry, dump water over the top to cover the vegetables by about an inch.
5. Drain and add the split peas. I refilled the split pea bowl and rehydrated my butler curls.
6. Add boullion, any extra spices, cover and start to simmer on low heat.
7. At the traditional juncture, this is the point at which you'd make DUMPLINGS (see below.)
8. Add dumplings and/or protein source.
9. Cover and simmer another 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Carribean Dumplings

1.5 C Flour (any kind)
Water, Milk or Coconut water or milk until slightly wet.

1. Mix flour and liquid until it is wet, but still firm.
2. Roll dumplings into large pill shapes or 1.5" balls.
3. Drop into soup as you make them.
The longer the dumplings sit in the soup, the more delicious soup flavor they absorb, just like pasta, only SO much tastier.

My version (dumpling-free, veggie heavy):

Whole pot:
Calories 608
Fat 13g
Sodium 4,391
Carbohydrate 104g
Sugars 16g
Fiber 31g
Protein 39g

Divvied up into six whopping portions, this made for a great lunch for those days when I wanted to have dessert, go out to eat or go drinking.

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