BAHAMIAN STYLE SPLIT PEAS SOUP
This recipe is other on of those that we pull out on a “Liquid Sunshine Day”. For those of you who have not heard, it never rains in the Bahamas. The sky may occasionally drop liquid sunshine.
2 cup Yellow split peas
3 Celery stalks, sliced
2 large Onions, diced
3 large Potatoes, peeled & quartered
5 cup Water
1 tsp. Thyme
2 large Carrots, peeled & sliced
1 lb. Meat – salt beef or ham can be used
Soak salt beef in water mixed with vinegar overnight. Wash peas, soak in 5 cups water overnight, drain. Add salt to water, bring to a boil. Add peas, lower heat. Simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Puree peas through sieve or blender. While peas cook, place meat into a pot. Add water to cover, about 6 cups. Bring to a boil. Add thyme & cook until done, about 1 1/2 hours, and then add celery, carrots, onion & potatoes & cook 30 minutes longer. Remove meat & vegetables from broth. Stir broth into pureed peas and simmer until thick. Add cooked meat and vegetables
BAHAMIAN CRAB SOUP
Although sunny days are a normal occurrence in the Islands of the Bahamas we also enjoy those occasional days when liquid sunshine falls, for it never rains in the Bahamas. And these liquid sunshiny days especially during the summer months are when crabs walk and soup pots come out and family comes over with bowls. Ingredients: 6 white land crabs, washed
1/4 lb Salt pork or 2 tsp. bacon fat or oil
1 large Onion, sliced
3 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 Tbsp. Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. Thyme
3 Tbsp. Rice, uncooked
Vegetables (potatoes, cassava, yam, carrots, etc) as desired
2 quarts Water boiling
Separate crab back (top shell) from body of crab. Remove fat from crab back, being careful not to break the bitter gall(it’s a little oval sac). Discard gall and back shells. Remove fat from body shell, if any. Save fat & body shells and set aside. In coup (thick bottomed) pot fry salt pork until crispy or heat bacon fat or oil; add onion, tomato paste, flour & seasonings. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are golden brown. Crack body shells and add with claws and crab fat to cooking pot; cook and stir 1 minute. Add 2 quarts boiling water and rice; simmer 2 hours. Vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and whatever you have may be added. Serve hot.
BAHAMIAN CONCH CHOWDER
4 cups Conch (ground)
¼ cup Cooking oil
¼ lb Salt pork (diced small)
1 tbsp Salt
1 med. Onion (chopped)
1 cup Tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 tbsp Tomato paste
½ tsp Black pepper
4 qts Water
2 Bay leaves
2 cups Carrots diced
4 cups Potatoes (cubed)
1 cup Celery (diced)
½ cup Ham chopped fine
1 cup Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrin’s)
1 Hot pepper
Tenderize conch and cut into chunks. In a large pot over med. Heat add water, bay leaves, carrot, potatoes, celery and ham. In a large frying pan over med. Heat oil and cook salt pork until light brown sauté onions, green pepper until tender. Add tomatoes and cook until dissolved. Add tomato paste and stir while cooking for 5 minutes.
Transfer contents from frying pan to large pot; add conch and salt to taste, bring to a boil. Cook until for 30 – 40 minutes stirring occasionally. Add Worcestershire sauce.
Remove from heat. Allow 15 minutes before serving.
BAHAMIAN COCONUT CREAM SOUP
This soup has a pleasant surprise and a burst of flavor. The coconut adds character and a tropical flair that warms the heart on a cool Caribbean night.
1 lb Veal, cut into small cubes
1 cup Flour
4 Tbsp Oil
- Bay leaf
- Coconuts hard (plus water), grated
1 cup Milk
2 Egg yolks, beaten
Salt & Pepper to taste
Place veal and onion in cooking pot and add water to cover; bring to boil and simmer until tender. Drain and save stock. Blend flour and oil in cooking pot; add veal stock, bay leaf, coconut water, coconut & seasoning. Bring to boil and cook 1 hour or until coconut is tender. More water may be added if needed; soup should be consistency of a cream soup. Add milk and egg yolks but do not let boil after this addition.
AUNTIE RIE’S BAHAMIAN BOIL FISH
A Seaman’s breakfast for sure. Boil Fish is a signature dish for the regal archipealego we cal home – The Bahama Islands! Yes to all of our fellow Earthians The Bahamas is made up of over 700 islands, cays and rocks of all shapes and sizes. With oceans all around us it is no wonder we have mastered the preparation of seafood and enjoy it all hours of the day.
When Auntie Rie boil fish she selects the larger meatier fish such as: grouper or Hog Snapper but other smaller fish may be used. These are the white, flaky, tender and mild in flavor. Auntie Rie always has the fish man cut her “fish for boil” into 4-6oz pieces (you may keep the bone in or out). The other benefit with using the larger fish is that their bones are big, making it easy to pick them out as you eat. Caution should always be taken when eating fish, because bones may even be present in fillet.
2 lb Grouper or Preferred Fish (6 med. Pieces)
1 med. Onion., sliced
1 med. Irish Potatoes
2 Hot pepper
2 Lemon/Lime &/or Sour Orange juice
Salt to taste
1 Bay leaf
I remember many a Saturday morning when I would be helping Auntie Rie make breakfast. She would always say, “A clean fish gives a clean broth”. So I spent the time washing the fish, removing the scales and taking out the remnants of blood from around the bones. Then she told me to place the fish in a bowl of ice water while we prepared the other ingredients.
Remove fish from ice water and place in a 6-8 quart pot. Cover fish with onions, Crush 1 hot pepper and combine with limejuice then pour into pot. Add potatoes, bay leaf and water enough to cover fish and 1 teaspoon of salt to start (you may add more salt to taste later). Cook over medium heat until fish and onions are tender (approximately 20 minutes). Remember fish normally takes 15-20 minutes to cook depending on thickness. Your broth should have a tangy, lemony flavour and fish should be tender and firm. Serve 4-6 persons with a wedge of lemon and slice of hot pepper because some like it hotter!
Accompaniments: Saturday morning breakfast or anytime of the day on the island you cam find Boil Fish and Grits, Johnny Cake or Potato Bread.
Most of my American friends are astonished that we eat fish for breakfast, yet you cannot find a more nutritional, high protein, low-fat, high energy meal anywhere. So if a low-carbohydrate diet is your prescription then enjoy a bowl of Auntie Rie’s Bahamian Boil Fish.