I associate plantains with the south and vacation. Last year when I spent some days with a friend in Florida [here], we ended up going to many Cuban restaurants. And they always serve plantain dishes, esp. the soup. Actually, I can’t remember that I’ve ever eaten plantains before I came to America. I am pretty sure a Puerto Rican friend introduced me to this great vegetable during my first summer in Boston. But since then I have bought plantains again and again because it is so easy to make chips out of them. But the soup is really tasty too – at least if you like cilantro. Otherwise I find it a little bland, but then again I also love cilantro. Saying that I just checked what cilantro actually is, and – surprise – it is nothing else than the American English word for coriander leaves. Wow, I hadn’t been aware at all, but had always been astonished that it was so difficult to find coriander here … oh dear. My recipes for the plantain soup and chips are definitely a lot easier than getting the hang of American English. For real.
Plantain Soup with Plantain Chips
- 1 liter vegetable broth
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery rib
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 3 large plantains 2 for the soup, 1 for the chips
- 1 bay leaf
- salt 1/2 bunch of cilantro (i.e. coriander leaves), 1 lime
- coconut oil
- Peel the plantains and cut them into pieces. Chop the other vegetables.
- For the soup: Heat some oil in a sauce pan. Add the onion, the carrot, the celery and the garlic cloves. After about two minutes add the vegetable broth. Once it boils, add two of the plantains and the bay leaf. Cook for about 45 minutes. Salt. Blend the soup and add the finely chopped cilantro. Cook for another 15 minutes. If the soup gets too thick, add more water. Squeeze the lime into the soup just when you serve it.
- For the chips: Heat some oil in a frying pan. Add the pieces of one plantain and fry them on both sides until they are crisp. Salt.