Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins
Substitute chard or kale and spinach if you don't have access to a West Indian market and can't access the calalloo leaves (taro leaves). This is a trademark of Trinidad where crab and callaloo is the national dish. Served with rice, or macaroni pie, coo-coo or a selection of local root vegetables. Trini’s have this iron rich soup at least once a week, usually on a Sunday. Can be made in advance and freezes well.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped celery
- 1⁄4 cup fresh thyme
- 1⁄2 cup chopped chives
- 15 okra, sliced
- 1⁄2 cup chopped west indian pumpkin (substitute butternut squash)
- 15 -20 dasheen leaves, washed and coarsely chopped (or 1 bunch swiss chard and 1/2 bunch spinach)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 maggi seasoning, cube plus
- 4 cups water or 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 live blue crabs, cleaned and washed in lime juice (or 5-6 pieces salted beef or salted pigtail)
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (Congo pepper)
- 2 tablespoons golden ray cooking margarine
- 1 teaspoon salt (if using maggi cube taste first before adding salt or the soup will be too salty.)
- Put salted pork pieces in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Drain off this water. Repeat this process to draw off the excess salt from the salted meat.
- Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion, garlic, celery and fresh herbs. Sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add okras, pumpkin and dasheen leaves and sauté for another minute or so. Add the coconut milk and stock or water, crab and hot pepper.
- Keep an eye on that hot pepper use one that is not bruised. You DO NOT want that pepper to burst while cooking. The heat from the burst pepper will overpower the other flavours.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 35 minutes.
- Taste and add salt if needed.
- Remove hot pepper and crab or meat, and swizzle the callaloo, or put in a blender or you can use an immersion type blender, and beat until smooth. Return the crab or meat pieces to the soup. Add the cooking margarine or butter. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Stir well.
- Serve hot as a soup on it's own or as a side dish.
In the Jamaican sections of your grocery store you`ll find canned Callaloo Greens which I used along with fresh spinach. I diced the onion and used scallions in place of the chives. I found enough flavor so I didn`t add the maggi seasoning. The scotch bonnet could be cut in half and seeded as for there wasn`t much heat! I used pork not the crab. Also skipped the margarine for I never use it. This is a thick and creamy soup full of flavor.