It’s already the time for the next challenge of FoodBuzz’s Project Food Blog. The next challenge is called The Classics. The aim is to see how well we can tackle a classic dish from another culture, French and Italian cuisine aside.
For that challenge, I decided to go off the beaten path and choose a dish from a country that is dear to my heart: Grenada. Grenada is a Caribbean island archipelago located just north of Trinidad and Tobago. The main island, nicknamed the Spice Island, is one of the most important spices exporting country in the world. But besides the beguiling smell of fresh nutmeg and cinnamon, it’s really the charm of the people that I will remember the most.
After a long walk in Grenadian’s lush tropical forest, my husband and I were starving. So we headed back to the city, to grab a bite in a nice little restaurant with a gorgeous view on the ocean. The waiter comes to offer us some drinks, but booze wouldn’t do it; we needed food! As the chef wasn’t there yet, the waiter offered to cook for us. Wow! I’ll never forget the delicious dinner we had there, and incredible soup he served with it.
I know, I’m stretching my luck here by preparing a soup for the second challenge of FoodBuzz’s Project Food Blog, but this soup is nothing like you’ve ever tasted before. It’s also perfectly aligned with Lifewithnature’s spirit, as it is not only delicious, but also healthy, vegan and gluten free.
The main ingredient for Grenada’s famous green soup is named Callaloo. It’s a plant that’s found everywhere in Grenada, but as you can guess, it doesn’t grow up here in Canada. So to be true to my motto that everything can be tweaked, adapted or substituted, Lifewithnature’s “callaloo” soup uses another dark leafy green, Swiss chard, to prepare a soup with a true Grenadian spirit. What gives this soup its unmistakably Grenadian taste is the use “green seasoning”. This condiment, widely used in Grenadian cuisine, is made of the exotic herb called Shadow Benny. You probably won’t find green seasoning at your local grocery, but you could possibly obtain something similar by mixing cilantro, chives, garlic with a mortar and pestle, and adding a few drops of vinegar.
- 1 bunch of fresh chard or other dark leafy greens
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin cooking oil (coconut, olive, grape seed, etc)
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoon green seasoning
- 3 tablespoon freshly squeezed coconut meat “juice”
- 1 cup homemade vegetable stock
- Dash of salt, to taste
- Fresh nutmeg, grated, to taste
Sauté chopped chard stems in the oil until tender. Add roughly chopped chard leaves and vegetable stock and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. While the chard is cooking, grate some fresh coconut meat and squeeze it with your hands to extract the juice. Add 3 tablespoon of this coconut juice to the soup, along with the white pepper and the green seasoning. Transfer everything to a high-speed blender and purée until smooth. Add salt and freshly grated nutmeg, to taste.