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Jamaican Carrot Soup

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  • Servings: 10

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  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds carrots, thickly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Scotch bonnet chile, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 1 small red potato, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 firm, ripe Bartlett pears—peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large ripe plantain
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Salt


  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the carrots and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and golden, about 30 minutes. Add the scallions, Scotch bonnet, soy sauce, thyme, ginger, cumin, allspice and nutmeg and stir until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the stock, potato and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the potato is tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Remove the soup from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, then remove the bay leaf. Puree the soup in batches in a blender and return it to the saucepan. Season the soup with the lemon juice and salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice. Fold in the parsley, allspice and nutmeg. Chill the relish.
  4. Peel the plantain and thinly slice it on the diagonal. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil until shimmering. Add half of the plantain slices and fry over moderate heat until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels while you fry the rest. Season with salt just before serving.
  5. Reheat the soup. Ladle into shallow bowls and garnish with the cold pear relish. Serve with plantain chips.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and the pear relish for 1 day. The plantains can be fried early in the day; reheat them in the oven.

Contributed By Photo © Dana Gallagher Published November 2000

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