Mondongo, Mofongo, and Sancocho are the names of a few dishes throughout the Caribbean, central, and south America. I just love the way these names roll off my tongue. Then there is fufu in Cuba, cou cou in Barbados, fungi/fungee in Antigua, and tum tum in Haiti. There is no way one can deny a connection with African languages and food ways.
Now that we are in the fall season and cooler weather is here, it’s time for good hearty soup recipes. A soup that is common throughout Africa and the Caribbean is Tripe Soup. Tripe is the stomach of a cow. There are many variations based on country and even regions within a country, but all claim this soup will fortify you.
- Following is a recipe for Mondongo (Tripe Soup) from Puerto Rico. The original recipe doesn’t call for sweet (yellow) plantain or spinach, but I like the touch of sweetness the yellow plantain introduces and the spinach adds more nutrition and color.
- 2 lbs.tripe cut into small pieces
- 4 C. lemon juice combined with 8 C. cold water
- 3 Quarts cold water mixed with 1 TB. salt
- 1 TB achiote oil (annatto)
- 1 TB vegetable oil
- 1/4 lb. smoked ham or 2 smoked turkey tails cut in half
- 1/2 C. sofrito (click on link for recipe http://africainourkitchen.com/?p=2573 )
- 1 C. tomato sauce
- 1/4 C. olives
- 1/2 lb. each, taro root (yautia), yuca (cassava) , calabaza (West indian pumpkin), all peeled and diced
- 1 green plantain, peeled and sliced
- 1 yellow plantain, peeled and sliced
- 10 oz. package frozen spinach
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/2 TB black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Soak the tripe in the lemon water for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, rinse and put in a large soup pot with the 3 quarts of cold salted water.
- Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 2-1/2 hours, or until the tripe is tender. Drain and rinse.
- In a clean pot, heat the oils.
- Add the smoked ham or turkey tails, sofrito, tomato sauce, and olives
- Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the tripe, root vegetables, plantain, bay leaves, and enough cold water to cover.
- Add pepper and salt.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the root vegetables are tender.
- Add spinach and simmer 10 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serves 10 to 15
Note: you can also add 1 cup drained canned garbanzos (chick-peas). Add them 5 minutes before serving.