Recipe: Chilled Coco-Mango Soup

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Serves 4 Hello summer, nice to see you again. This year let's stay cool, no overheating, no frustration, no sweaty t-shirts. I have to admit I don't think you're playing fair - soaring above 100F in June, but I'll take drastic measures to keep the peace, if need be. I can curl up in an ice bath. Thankfully, however, there's something better and tastier: cold soup. Inspired by the Guyanese in South America and their love of Caribbean flavors, today's special is mango and coconut-tastic. I'm … [Read more...]

Recipe: Oil Down with Yucca (vegan)

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Serves 6 Stressed out? Time for a Caribbean Oil Down - and I don't mean massage. This heavy duty dish is made by stewing cassava or bread fruit in coconut milk and curry. The result is a thick, indulgent stew worthy of any party. Our version is vegan, but pork bits are typical. With such rich ingredients, Oil Down seems more suited to a ski slope than a beach party, but, still, Grenadians eat this dish in their bathing suits. Brave, brave people. Oil Down is so rich that you may be able to … [Read more...]

Recipe: Spicy Chicken Peanut Soup (Groundnut Soup)

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Serves 4 I can't begin to explain why or how this recipe works, but it does. Of the four adults who sampled the soup, every single person had thirds. Thirds. Epic. Groundnut soup is your passport to west Africa. In less than an hour, you'll be spooning a delicate blend of fresh ginger, garlic, tomato and groundnuts (a.k.a. peanut butter), with bites of browned chicken and bits of hot peppers. And you'll be mourning the time you lived without this soup. Special thanks to Ghana and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Teardrop Onion Soup (French Onion Soup)

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Serves 4 Do you need a good cry? Today is the day. Paris can handle your tears. Trust me, I know. All you have to do is make a pot of French Onion Soup. By the time you slurp your last sip, and crunch on the last of the cheesy crouton, you will be renewed. After my brother died everything hurt. The thing was, as bad as it felt, I didn't really know how bad I was hurting. I tried to ignore it. To keep going. I didn't want to look my grief in the face. It was an ugly, unwieldy monster. If … [Read more...]

Recipe: Eritrean Lentil Stew (Wat)

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Serves 4 Let's thank Eritrea for this giant, vegan bowl of deliciousness - a happy mixture of spicy lentils, offset by sweet carrots and tomatoes. The heat comes from berberé, the regional spice blend that should be added with a heavy hand. You know, for authenticity purposes. And lots of sweating. Edited to add: One of our readers posted a great tip in the comments section of our Ethiopian menu which also applies to Eritrean cooking: When I watch Ethiopian cooks in Ethiopia they chop up … [Read more...]

Recipe: Ecuadorian Potato & Cheese soup with Avocado (Locro de papa con queso)

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Makes a gallon (4 quarts) If you've never had locro de papas, you're in for a surprise. The fine people of Ecuador love this comforting and healthy soup, especially on a chilly day. And why not? Tinged orange from ground annato, most of the flavors remain familiar - potato, cheese, avocado, and cilantro. Feel free to substitute parsley if you hate cilantro. Just so long as you try this soup. You'll love it. Ingredients: 1 onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tsp … [Read more...]

Recipe: Bakso Noodle Soup (Chicken Meatball Soup)

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Serves 6 When it's cold outside, gather around a steaming bowl of Bakso Noodle Soup - you'll be refreshed by the bright flavors and warmed by the chili sauce. You can bring this soup to a potluck - just keep the tofu, green onions, and chili sauce in a separate dishes for diners to garnish their own bowls. While the soup is traditionally Indonesian, it is also sold by street vendors in East Timor, a country formerly part of Indonesia.  Ingredients: 1 bok choy, rinsed and sliced 3 green … [Read more...]

Recipe: Callaloo

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Serves 4-6 Callaloo, a luscious green stew made all over the Caribbean, is one of *those* recipes. It's like chili in the US; everyone lays claim to having the "best" version. And every version was made by someone's mama, so you best not mess with it. This version is made by Ava's mamma - me. But.. unlike those other recipes, feel free to mess with mine. After all, I'm a novice Callaloo maker and still have a lot to learn. Given the limitations of supplies around these parts, I went ahead … [Read more...]