Sopa de Platanos with Smoked Shrimp and Black Bean Salsa
- 3 semi-ripe plantains (yellow with some spots)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- Essence, recipe follows
- Black pepper
- Black Bean Salsa, recipe follows
- 1/2 pound smoked shrimp, for garnish
- Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Black Bean Salsa
- 1 1/2 cups prepared black beans, drained
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced*
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place unpeeled plantains on a baking sheet and rub with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast plantains in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until skin is blackened and flesh is softened somewhat. While plantains are still warm, trim ends and peel fruit (you may need gloves or a dishtowel if plantains are still very hot). Cut plantains into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
In a heavy saucepan saute onion, carrot and cumin in remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until softened and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add plantains and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Skim surface of soup if necessary, and lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the plantains are very tender, about 20 minutes.
In a food processor or blender puree the mixture in batches until smooth and season with Essence, salt and pepper, to taste. Return the soup to the pot and keep warm until ready to serve. When serving, top each portion with 2 tablespoons of the Black Bean Salsa and the smoked shrimp.Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William Morrow, 1993.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients, seasoning to taste with cayenne and salt. Cover and let stand for 1 hour before serving, to develop the flavors.
*The jalapeno seeds can be added for a spicier Salsa.
Yield: About 1 1/2 cups