Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jamaican Plantain Soup with Persimmon - An Aromatic Delight


Bold and aromatic, this Jamaican inspired soup is full of thermogenic spices that will warm your tummy while it nudges your metabolism. 

Although it is more conventionally teamed up with lunch or supper, I ate it for breakfast this morning and can attest to its deliciousness even at that odd hour.

The persimmon has nothing to do with Jamaica - it was just staring at me with a gorgeous orange glow and I simply couldn't resist it's soft, juicy, sweet flesh in this dish.  Known for its many medicinal uses, this native Chinese fruit is also rich in nutrients including beta-carotene, vitamin C and fibre.  Persimmon is at its best from October through December.


Jamaican Plantain Soup with Persimmon - An Aromatic Delight
  • 1 large yellow onion (the basis of all good soups), peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and roughly chopped (substitute ripe bananas) 
  • 1 persimmon, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups leek (substitute celery), chopped
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock plus additional water if needed
  • 1 heaping Tbsp fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp allspice powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder or to taste
  • 4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Sea Salt & black pepper to taste

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Note:

There are plenty of suitable substitutions you can make in this dish and you certainly don't have to go out and track down persimmon, unless you want to.  I have used green apple in place of persimmon in this soup and found it equally delicious.
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Warm a large skillet or pot on stove over medium-low heat adding some olive oil.  Sauté onion and ginger until onion begins to soften (about 5 minutes).  I like to add spices - or at least a portion of the spices - to the onion while it cooks.  The spices permeate the flesh of the onion well, making it an ideal flavour transporter.  Toss in some (or all) of the allspice, cinnamon and cayenne at this stage, mixing them around with the onion and ginger.

Add chicken or vegetable stock to the skillet along with sweet potato, plantain, persimmon and leek and bring mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer with the pot covered for 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Purée ingredients in a blender until smooth and then return to skillet/pot. Stir in lime juice and adjust seasonings to taste. You can also adjust thickness of soup by adding water or more stock as desired.

Enjoy.

51 comments:

  1. Wow, this looks amazing! Anything with plantains and I'm sold ...

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  2. What a delicious looking soup! Love all of the spices you used and I find it an interesting combination. It's also quite healthy with all those wonderful veggies! YUM - ripe plantains!

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  3. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.November 17, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    I love plantains and I barely get to enjoy them! This soup looks so delicious! The persimmon is also a great touch!

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  4. Ooh, I like the persimmons in this dish. Great post!

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  5. Happy When Not HungryNovember 17, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Wow this soup looks delicious! I love all the flavors in there. I've never tried making soup with plantains before. Great recipe!

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  6. What a GREAT mix of flavors...I bet it's amazing! Thank you for sharing!

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  7. Yay! Another soup for me to try out. :) Loving it Kelly! And it will be my first use of a persimmon!

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  8. That sounds like an incredible mix of flavors! I bet it smelled amazing too!

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  9. Kelly, You did it again. You managed to create such a fabulous dish which forces us to think outside the box. Really fabulous.

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  10. I have definitely heard of this dish but somehow never tried Jamaican Plantain Soup before. You did a great job with it

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  11. Kelly, my husband is a big fan of plantains (me too, but since I fry them in big amounts of oil for a long time, I try to eat just a bit). You always have such creative ideas like putting persimmon in a soup! As always, the result looks delicious! (I love the green touches!)

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  12. The Café Sucré FarineNovember 18, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    Kelly, I know I will always find something fun, interesting and delicious when I click on your site and this is no exception! I've never cooked with plantains or persimmons but this sounds really delightful!

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  13. So funny, Nate was just asking me last night what a plaintain is, because they had them on the Whole Foods hot bar. I love the sweet ones but never thought of making a soup with it. Sounds delicious!

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  14. This looks very tasty. Nice combination of ingredients.

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  15. What an unique and tasty soup recipe!

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  16. Beautiful and you're making me want to go to the tropics lately!

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  17. --cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, & sweet pototo....
    I can smell is simmering all the way over here, Kelly.
    Lovely.

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  18. What an intriguing sounding dish - banana soup! :D No, of course it's not just that... it sounds great, and looks really beautiful... lovely rich colours - I think I'd keep the plantains instead of regular bananas though because they're a fair bit less sweet.

    I love persimmons, you what I love most of all though... when you cut them across, like how you've done in the picture above. It sounds really silly, but you look inside at the almost flawless little star shape and it's one of these things that makes you say "holy cow... ain't nature something". :)

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  19. Kelly...know what I really love about your site? Sometimes I enjoy reading about your family, your home, your vacations...and other times I feel like I'm transported to someplace exotic! This soup is just beautiful and I can only imagine how the flavors just meld together. Sweet potatoes, plantains....and all of those warm spices. I would eat this for breakfast, lunch AND dinner....and very possibly in the same day! (And I need to learn more about persimmons!). Beautiful picture, as always!

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  20. This soup sounds incredible. I love anything with plantains.

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  21. If there are three things I really love, it's plantains, persimmons, and sweet potatoes. And here they are all in one place! I can hardly take it.

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  22. I have never cooked with persimmons (which are a native fruit, right?) or plantains for that matter. I love that you tried this for breakfast.

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  23. I am not familiar with Jamaican food but this soup indeed looks delightful!

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  24. definitely on a soup kick right now; this looks delish. i'm curious how bananas will taste in a savory prep.

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  25. Thank Kimber - it's a full flavoured dish, that's for sure.

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  26. I am particularly smitten with the warming properties of this soup - I'm wishing I had some left on a cold afternoon like today! ;0

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  27. Thank you Stephanie - I can't always find plantains here but I do find banana adds great Caribbean flair as well.

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  28. thanks yummy - the persimmon was so juicy and flavourful!

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  29. thank you - it has a lot of heat and distinctive flavours - but you can play around with it as you please.

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  30. Thanks Ann!

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  31. It's quite spicy so you can adjust depending on how Miss A and Mr N enjoy the heat ;0 Our boys have been fully trained in their mom's spicy ways... ;)

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  32. It does smell lovely - I find the allspice really comes through in taste and I love Caribbean flavours.

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  33. Thanks so much France - very sweet of you ;0

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  34. Thanks Kay - it's definitely got some heat, so depending on your taste and tolerance, it may or may not be for everyone - xo

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  35. Thank you Sissi! My ideas are largely driven by what I'm craving on any given day... the cold weather seems to move me towards warming foods... ;0

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  36. Thanks Chris! This was a fun one - full of flavour and lovely aroma...

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  37. There's a Caribbean restaurant that my husband and I really enjoy here - they often use plantains (and bananas!) in their cuisine - I find it so yummy and different.

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  38. Thanks for dropping by Suzi!

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  39. Thanks Angie - ;0

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  40. ha-ha! it must be driven by my subconscious desire to head to the tropics!!

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  41. Ah, thanks Kim - xo

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  42. If you can find plantains, they work well but I also quite enjoy the taste of banana here which is also frequently used in Caribbean dishes. I agree, persimmons are a thing of beauty to behold (and, bonus, they taste great!)

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  43. To be fair, I know next to nothing about Jamaican cuisine. I should try it with bananas... no doubt it's delicious! My local supermarket has a very decent "exotic" fruit and veg section which always stock plantains. My wife found an interesting recipe - cut slices of them, squash them quite flat with a juice glass and then fry them until crispy on each side. Sprinkle with some salt or sugar and they're really good like this too!

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  44. you know, I'd actually love to go to Jamaica. My husband and I adore Jamaican food but have never visited (mind you, our North American interpretation of Jamaican food might be quite different from the native dishes) - I'm willing to investigate! :)

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  45. thanks for visiting Beth Michelle!

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  46. 3 for 3 - excellent!

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  47. persimmons derive from China ;0 - the two main varieties you will find are Chinese and Japanese which have slight variations. Loved it for breakfast!!

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  48. thanks so much ;)

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  49. it's a sweet savoury dish that comes together nicely - cheers Em!

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  50. I think this sounds like an awesome breakfast :) Persimmons are a personal favorite of mine and I can just imagine how the flavor played off the plaintains and sweet potatoes

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  51. Intriguing combinations of flavors. I'm not a big persimmons fan but I bet the spices and plantains override the flavors. Looks warm and comforting!

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Thank you for your feedback - it's wonderful to hear from you!