Caribbean Kitchen (Spring 1994)

Recipes from St. Maarten and Trinidad

Fed up with canned and packet soups! Try a good Caribbean recipe. Soups are commonly based on local fruits and vegetables such as avocados, breadfruit and pumpkins. The addition of the Congo pepper is optional.


2 large, ripe avocados, cubed
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup whipping cream
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 teaspoons Nancy’s Seasoning Paste*
I Congo pepper or Habanero, left whole (optional)
1/3 cup dry sherry
Salt, to taste
Extremely thin avocado slices, for garnish

In a blender or food processor, puree the avocados, ground pepper and cream. Heat the stock in a large saucepan until just boiling; slowly stir in the avocado puree and seasoning paste. Reduce the heat, add the Congo pepper, and simmer until slightly thickened (15 to 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Add the sherry. Remove the Congo pepper, stir, adjust for salt, and remove from the heat. Pour into bowls, garnish with avocado slices, and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

*Nancy’s Seasoning Paste: 12 cloves garlic, chopped, 8 medium onions, chopped, 6 seasoning peppers, seeds and stems removed, chopped, 1 teaspoon dried thyme or sage (optional).

Puree all the ingredients in a blender. Transfer the mixture to a large sterilised jar and refrigerate until needed. Makes about 3 cups

From Callaloo, Calypso and Carnival: The Cuisines of Trinidad and Tobago by Dave DeWitt and Mary Jane Wilan (The Crossing Press)


(Aubergine in Coconut Cream) A recipe from St Maarten

1 large aubergine, weighing about I Ib
1/2 oz. butter, softened
3 large onions, finely chopped
I teaspoon dried hot red peppers, crumbled, or
I fresh hot red pepper, seeded and chopped
Salt, freshly ground pepper
3/4 Pint coconut cream

Peel the aubergine and slice thinly. Butter an ovenproof dish and arrange the aubergine slices in it. Cover with the onions, sprinkle with the peppers, season to taste with salt and pepper and pour the coconut cream over it. Cover the dish with a lid, or with foil, and bake in a 350°F (gas 4) oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer. Serves 4 to 6.

From Caribbean Cooking, by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz (Penguin)