The Heart of Ardent

The Heart of Ardent: Spicy Banana Soup

PHOTO: Samantha Swan
I know, it’s a close up of soup. But people would get annoyed if they just saw bananas.
They need to see what the dish looks like.

Spicy Banana Soup

We’ve published a number of food and cocktail recipes on this blog; for fun, for the sake of sharing, to reflect our interest in food and drink and culture, and in order to share something not film related. (Though if it’s going into our faces on set or at one of our parties, it’s arguably still film related, no?) Even if you’re an obsessive workaholic, you’ve got to feed your face some time…

Ok, you got me. I saw the premiere of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ last night, and I thought, for some added Friday Fun, you should have a banana related recipe.

In any case, it’s been awhile since we published one, and thought you might enjoy some spicy banana soup.
This is my own version, Caribbean based, but there are African variations of it that also use coconut, and you’ll sometimes see recipes that refer to it as ‘Cream of Banana Soup’.

The over-ripeness of the banana is very sweet; it counter balances the heat of the scotch bonnet pepper, which is hotter than Hades.

SPICY BANANA SOUP

INGREDIENTS

4 overripe bananas*
1 teaspoon minced scotch bonnet pepper OR teaspoon scotch bonnet pepper puree**
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
1/2 onion, finely chopped or minced (optional)
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups water
1 can evaporated 2% skim or evaporated fat-free milk***

sweet red bell or yellow bell pepper, cut in curlicues, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Peel the bananas and cut them into pieces.
*Ripe banana freezes particularly well, so if you’re concerned about them getting too ripe, put them in the freezer. This also works any time you accidentally end up with an over-ripe banana, just put it in the freezer until you end up with a few to make this soup. I also find them easy to peel and cut from the freezer. Easier handling.

Puree the bananas and the scotch bonnet pepper (onion and garlic too if you’re using them) through a food mill, processor or blender. (If you don’t like soup especially smooth, the banana also breaks down very easily if whisked while simmering in the pot, as I have made it this way without a processor.)
Also, if you’re chopping fresh scotch bonnet pepper, wash your hands immediately after and don’t stick your fingers in your eyes. (I have learned this from bitter experience.)

Place the banana-pepper puree, chicken stock, and water in a saucepan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as it simmers.
**Scotch Bonnet Pepper Puree comes in small bottles, such as those made by Grace and can be found at Caribbean markets or in the ‘international’ aisle of many North American grocery stores. Use only a 1/2 teaspoon of the puree if you feel unsure about the spice level. You can always add more if it is not enough.

Stir in the can of milk and remove from the heat.
***A can of coconut milk or 1 cup of heavy cream could easily be used instead for the African or richer variation.

Serve hot with the curlicues of sweet red and yellow bell pepper for garnish, perhaps while screening the ‘Planet of the Apes‘ at home.

BYOCH (Bring Your Own Charlton Heston).


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