Celebration Soup

Internet has finally been restored after the Christmas storm.  Here come all the posts waiting in the wings.

Fearing a time out, exile, wars and other such punishment Laura from http://andthisisthirty.com/ shared secret family recipes in this post. She asked if we have any secret family recipes. Of course I said no because my family has no recipes. Someone sits you in the kitchen says this is how its done and you’re expected to remember it all. Then I went into the kitchen to make soup. Its simply called soup. Across the Caribbean most households will make some version of this soup over the next few days.

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And now a history lesson…

One hundred years ago, the former slaves and their children did not eat meat very often. Fresh meat was reserved for special occasions: Christmas, New Years, Easter, First Communions, Confirmations, Christenings and Weddings. On such occasions an animal would be slaughtered. The fresh meat would be used, among other things, to make soup. The remaining meat would be salted and dried to be used during the rest of the year.

Traditionally this soup is made with beef, includes cabbage and macaroni, and is served with bread. At least that’s how my grandma made it. I did not include these things or onions because I made the soup vegan and gluten free. Cabbage and onions are my FODMAP triggers So they are not included. The recipe I will share is my current veganized version. I have made this soup using chicken for sick friends and they love.

Disclaimer:
This is the recipe that I modified after learning from my grandma and mom. If your grandma always used tripe and your mom always added dumplings that’s ok. I am not trying to say this is how soup is done. I am saying this is how I make soup.

This is gonna be a long post with lots of pictures and explanations because I want you to feel like you were right there in the kitchen with me.

Serves 2

Ingredients
6oz piece of pumpkinIngredients
1 large carrot
2 large potatoes
4 cloves garlic
3 sprigs of parsley (or 1tbsp dried)
1 piece of red (or any color) pepper
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
3 +1 cup water

Directions

  1. Chop 2 garlic cloves and place in a large pot.
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  2. When the edges begin to brown add oil and allow to simmer for a few seconds while stirring.
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  3. Add 3 cups water.IMG-20131222-00491.jpg
  4. Add pumpkin, rosemary and thyme.IMG-20131222-00492.jpg
  5. Peel and chop potatoes.IMG-20131222-00493.jpg
  6. Add potatoes to pot.

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  1. Place pepper, remaining garlic and parsley in food processor or chop by hand. IMG-20131222-00486.jpg IMG-20131222-00487.jpg
  2. Chop carrot.
  3. When pumpkin is cooked remove from pot and blend with remaining water until smooth.  Strain pumpkin puree (unless you would like pieces of pumpkin peel in your soup) and add to pot. Note: this is where you would add the pasta and allow to cook before adding pumpkin puree.IMG-20131222-00503   IMG-20131222-00507
  4. Remove rosemary and thyme sprigs from pot.
  5. Add chopped seasonings. IMG-20131222-00506
  6. Add chopped carrots. and cabbage if you would like. IMG-20131222-00509
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

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Sometimes I feel like having the flavor of roasted potatoes in my soup so I roast the potatoes in my cast iron pot. And add them after.

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I also add gluten free macaroni but lately my budget does not extend to such luxuries.  Roasting the garlic gives the soup a nice bold meaty flavor.  My mom used to mash the pumpkin with a spoon and some people peel and chop it and allow it to disintegrate.  I prefer the texture of the blended puree.  This soup is also nice served with bread. I have made this soup numerous time during the holiday season.   Every time I eat it I am a little girl waiting for my grandma to finish cooking.

What traditional family recipes do you enjoy during the holidays?