August 30, 2010

Callaloo, Strange Callaloo

I love soup. I used to eat Progressive Soup (Thanks editor Rob! If only there WAS a progressive soup.) Progresso Soup a lot. A.Lot. I would stash a few cans and a big 'ol mug in my desk drawer and on those days that I would forget frozen my box of Lean Cuisine, or just cuz, I would have some soup. Oh, Chickarina how I loved you. And Wedding Day! Ever want to get yourself off those cans, first read the salt content. 630mg (29% for the day!) Yea, that is just for ONE serving. Double it and that is what I was ingesting. Regularly. Thinking about it now, makes my skin feel tight.

These days I try to make my own soup. Red Lentil Chard still tops the charts in our household, but I ams always up to try something new. So when we got Callaloo also known as amaranth in our share this week, I looked up a 4 1/2 star rated soup on and said what the heck...(but fyi, I did change out the salted beef for bacon. I just can't leave well enough alone. But hey, we had some in the fridge.)

Off to the store...

Shallots. Check. (Never bought these before.  THAT's what they look like.  Like little red onions.)
Chile peper.  I hope a jalepeno is the same thing, because that is what I got.
Okra.  Couldn't find it since, um I didn't know what it looked like.  I read the signs...but wow.  A very nice RocheBros worker got me a bag, said she LOVES okra and told me how she cooks them up (Good thing too, because she got me WAY more than the cup I needed.) 
Crab meat.  Holy Crap!  6oz. for almost 9 bucks??? Do I go imitation?  No, get the good stuff.  Actual food.  Michael Pollan eat your heart out.  I followed another one of your food rules. Sigh. 

Ok ready to cook.     

Got everything ready and then read this: "Puree the soup in a blender or food processor." 

I have a wonderful Cuisinart.  I love it. Really.  But here is the thing.  All these wonderful ingredients...puréed like baby food?  I don't know about you, but that feels like a total waste to me.  I mean, the whole reason SlimFast sucked was that I actually like to chew my food.  Ok.  SlimFast sucked for a lot more reasons than that.  But I digress.

Yet I did it, I gave the recipe a chance. Cuisinart-ed the sucker out of it. 

Cooked. puréed. 

And you know what.  It IS really good.  This is one flavorful soup.  It doesn't look beautiful...sort of green monster-ish. But it is quite tasty.   

Maybe next time for kicks, I'll only purée half so I still get to chew some of that $22 lb crab meat.  

Callaloo Soup
1 pound callaloo leaves or spinach
6 cups chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
4 strips of bacon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 green chile pepper, chopped
1 cup okra
1/2 pound crabmeat

Remove the thick stems of the callaloo leaves, chop roughly, and put into a large saucepan. Add the chicken stock, onion, bacon, black pepper, shallots, thyme, chili pepper, and crab meat. Cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 35 minutes.
Add the okra, and cook for 8 minutes.
Remove the chili pepper. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Reheat, and adjust seasonings.

Oh, and for the record.  I got about 10 bowls of soup out of this recipe which cost about $12 to make.  That means, it was still cheaper than the Progresso soups I used to get on sale for $1.25 each.  Cheapassmama booyah!

No comments: