BY: EARTHA LOWE
A plantain is a green vegetable and a member of the banana family. Unlike bananas, however – a fruit that can be eaten once they ripen – plantains are cooked before serving as they are unsuitable raw. Plantains are used for different dishes according to their degree of maturity. Cooked one way or another, they are served almost daily as a popular side dish with Jamaican cuisine. Fried sweet plantain is a popular side served with most vegetarian dishes across the Caribbean.
Although plantains look a lot like green bananas and are a close relative, the two are very different. Plantains are longer than bananas and have a thicker skin. Plantains are starchy, not sweet. Plantains are green when the outer peel is green and very firm; mature when the peel is completely yellow and the flesh is soft and less white.
As we head into cold winter temperatures, there’s always room for a warming, tasty soup to get cozy with. Green Plantain Vegetable Soup is unique. It has a tangy, warm ginger taste that you will love. This soup is made with simple, whole ingredients such as caramelized onion, garlic, ginger and lime in a delicious vegetable broth.
- 2 green plantains, peeled and sliced
- 5 – 6 cups vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, or until onion is soft and golden.
- In the meanwhile, prepare a medium bowl with 3 cups cold water. Add the lemon juice. Peel the plantains. Cut them in half lengthwise. Use a knife to shave off the small seeds in the center of the plantains. Roughly slice the plantains and place the pieces in the cold water and lemon juice mixture.
- Once the onion is cooked, add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Stir in the stock, ginger, and bring to a boil. Add the plantains and lime juice. Cook on low to medium heat for 35 – 40 minutes until the plantains are tender. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place the contents of the saucepan in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Food category: vegan, vegetarian
Prep and cook time: 1 hour
Difficulty: super easy!
Tips: This soup is thick. Add additional vegetable broth to the blender to achieve your desired consistency.
Try another variation to this recipe. Replace the green plantains with pumpkin and sweet potato. Add a tablespoon of coconut milk, 1/2 chili pepper, and you’ve got yourself another tasty, heart-warming soup.
Save bits of caramelized onion to enjoy as a topping on your soup.
Preparing Foods for Soup
It doesn’t matter much how you cut vegetables if you plan to puree them to thicken the soup. However, uniform cutting will allow the foods to cook evenly. Cut vegetables about the same size so they’ll finish cooking at the same time.