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  • Servings: 6

Callaloo is the name of this traditional West Indian soup as well as of the large fan-shaped leafy greens--sometimes called dasheen leaves or taro root leaves--that are its chief component. The greens taste like a cross between spinach and cabbage.

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 4 slices of bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound callaloo (see Note) or spinach, stemmed, leaves cut into 1/2 -inch ribbons
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons basil
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons celery leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the callaloo, basil, parsley and celery leaves and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and barely tender, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderate heat until the greens are soft, about 10 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until perfectly smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan, add the cream and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then serve in soup plates.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.


Callaloo leaves are available in West Indian and Asian markets.

Suggested Pairing

A simple, dry white pairs well with the fresh taste of the greens.

Contributed By Photo © William Abranowicz Published December 1998

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