Well hello, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas celebration! We unplugged for the week and met my parents and brother in Palm Beach, Florida. A relaxing break with warm weather was just what we needed to recharge and it was so nice to spend time with my family. We went to the beach or pool every day, watched a bunch of movies, visited the Norton Art Museum, did a Palm Beach Segway Tour, and my Mom and I even snuck in a bit of shopping while the boys went deep sea fishing.
Oh, and of course, we enjoyed a bunch of good eats! We had a little kitchen in our suite, so I was able to cook on Christmas (spinach stuffed chicken breasts, pasta primavera, moussaka, and Greek salad) and Apolinaras and my brother fired up the grill by the pool one night and grilled jerk chicken and plantains – yum! Other highlights included sushi at Yu-Mi and Mexican at Rocco’s Tacos.
We had Cuban food in Miami as well, but the restaurant was a tad disappointing. We did enjoy the sweet plantains, which as you probably know, are one of my favorite ingredients. In fact, in anticipation of our trip a few weeks ago, I decided to make a sweet potato and plantain soup. It’s the perfect way to enjoy some Caribbean flavor in the winter. I added some traditional spices found in jerk seasoning at the end, so the soup wouldn’t be too sweet, and really liked the crunch of the plantain chips on top. There were also a few flavor combos I was inspired by during our trip and I’m already looking forward to developing some new recipes!
Caribbean Sweet Potato and Plantain Soup
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 yellow medium plantains with dark spots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into chunks (mine were 32 ounces unpeeled)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped plantain chips
Heat canola oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add ginger and garlic and sauté one additional minute. Add chicken broth, water, plantains, and sweet potatoes, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer with the pot covered for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Puree until smooth with an immersion blender. Stir in lime juice, thyme, cayenne pepper, allspice, and salt. Ladle into bowls and garnish with plantain chips. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition: 337 calories, 7.4g fat, 7.9g fiber, 5.0g protein per serving
Cost: $2.25 per serving