Ya Mon Soup

It was a cold and very wet day – a good day to lay low, stay indoors and nest. It was also a great day for hearty, satisfying soup, so I decided to make a big pot of it. This soup was inspired by West Indian soups I have had. It was delicious and satisfying and hit the spot perfectly. It’s a great nesting soup and counterbalance to inclement weather.

I went with locally available ingredients….from my refrigerator and cupboard. 🙂

The ingredients included:

celery, 3 stalks diced
Spanish onion, 1 medium to large diced
garlic cloves, about six, smashed and diced
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
yams, about three small to medium sized – peeled and cubed
potatoes, peeled and cubed
Great Northern white beans, 2 cans drained and rinsed (may use any beans you like)
quinoa (red, white or both), 1 cup
turkey or chicken juices (may also use chicken broth)
Jamaican curry, about 3-4 tablespoons
Walkers Wood (brand) Jerk Seasoning (hot & spicy), 1 heaping tablespoon
Amoy (brand) Thai Red Curry Paste, 1 teaspoon
sea salt, to taste
water, about 3-4 quarts
olive oil
chicken drumsticks, about 8 chopped in half

I started by washing and cutting up the celery, onions, cilantro, garlic, yams and potatoes. I then began to sauté them in olive oil in a large soup/sauce pot. I then added two cans of drained, rinsed beans, and then added the Jamaican curry, jerk seasoning, Thai red curry paste and sea salt.

I had leftover turkey juices from the turkey I cooked the previous week. I added some of the refrigerated juices that had congealed in the frig with the fat on top and flavorful juices on the bottom of the container. I mixed the congealed fat and juices together and poured some into the soup pot. Since I did not use chicken broth, I figured I could add this for the flavor and add some body from the fat. Folks who are strict about controlling the fat content of their food, can easily discard the fat. Of course feel free to use chicken broth.

With all the veggies, beans and seasoning in the pot, I then added the water and cranked the flame up to get the big pot to a boil, stirring the ingredients occasionally.

While the soup was underway, I chopped up a package of Purdue chicken drumsticks, and browned both sides in a sauté pan with olive oil and some crush garlic. I added the browned chicked pieces to the cooking soup. About 30-45 minutes before I judged the soup would be done, I added a cup of quinoa, stirring it throughout the soup.

I did not time the soup. I first brought the soup to a boil at a high flame, then lowered the flame to cook at a medium-low simmer, leaving the soup pot uncovered and stirring occasionally. I determined the soup done when the potatoes and yams were soft and the chicken easily came off the bone.

This soup is delicious and was even more so the day after. I served the soup with oven toasted Turkish bread dipped in olive oil and spinkled with oregano. Try it…and enjoy!

Written/Edited by Richard Taub

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