I bought a green plantain a few weeks ago and left it on the counter to ripen. It took a long time, but finally it started to turn yellow, then took on some black patches (black plantain = ripe plantain). I typically just sauté plaintains until browned in a little bit of oil, but wanted to do something different this time. I decided on this recipe from the Mesa Grill cookbook for sweet potato and plantain soup.
I read the ingredient list before I went grocery shopping, but didn’t bother to actually read the cooking instructions. The recipe looks fairly simple because of its short ingredient list, but the cooking process is actually quite fussy. I didn’t have the patience to follow the recipe, so I improvised. Instead of roasting the sweet potatoes and plantains, I just cut them into small pieces and cooked them directly in the chicken stock. The original recipe also called for pureeing the plantains, adding them to the liquid, then pureeing everything again when the sweet potatoes are added. That seemed unnecessary to me, so I just pureed everything together a single time at the end.
I went with the suggested garnish of chipotle crema, and I happened to have pepper oil and herb oil in the house, so I used those too for some added color. I wasn’t about to heat up a big pot of oil just to fry a plantain for garnish, so instead I cut some small cubes of plantain and sautéed them in a small amount of oil until browned and crispy.
If you look at the ingredient list, you’ll notice that this soup is on the sweeter side from the plantains, coconut milk and sweet potatoes. It’s important to add a generous amount of salt to cut some of the sweetness, otherwise it almost tastes like dessert! The soup had a very nice, almost velvety texture from the pureed potatoes and plantains.