Juana Maria’s Plantain Soup

Juana Maria uses a variation of the following ingredients, depending on what she can get her hands on in Havana. If she’s without garlic, she will use more onion, or vice versa. The core ingredients are onion, plantain and chicken broth. The fried plantain can be substituted with baked plantain chips for a healthier, speedier alternative.

Ingredients

1 large onion – quartered
4 whole cloves of garlic
1 sweet pepper – chopped roughly
Carcass of one chicken
10 cups of water
4 plantains – the platano macho (green variation)
4 cups of vegetable oil, for deep frying
Gouda (for the top)

Method

In a large pot, put the chicken, water, onion, garlic and pepper. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for about 40 minutes

While your broth is simmering, slice your plantain into 5ml slices

Deep fry in batches, ensuring your oil is sizzling hot before the plantain goes in. Take special care not to let the pieces stick to each other

Remove with a slatted spoon and place on kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil

Allow your plantain to cool – it should be of a hard consistency

Reserve a few for decoration and then crush the plantain slices to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar.

Once your broth is ready, remove the onion, garlic, pepper and chicken

Add your crushed plantain and stir until the soup thickens

As a final touch, you can add grated gouda cheese and top with a sprinkling of coriander

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