Antillean sòpi di boonchi korá is a traditional Antillean soup. For Antilleans, this soup with red kidney beans is the ultimate comfort food. We know it from the past and it undoubtedly brings back memories. It is a delicious warming soup that you make with kidney beans, salt meat and vegetables.
The soup is a bit sweet due to the addition of sugar. Just like we love it in the Antilles. After cooking the beans, the soup will become nice and thick. Usually we serve it in a bowl with some boiled rice added. But even without rice, the soup is tasty and powerful enough. A real meal soup!
Soup from the past
I remember when my grandmother de sòpi di boonchi korá always made when a lot of people came to eat. She would start cooking early and after a few hours there would be a large, steaming pot of soup that could feed an entire orphanage.
Was there any soup left after dinner? No problem! Everyone got a bowl of soup to take home. It tastes even better the next day! Even now that I make the soup myself, I usually immediately cook a large (double!) pan of it. If you have to wait that long anyway, you better do it right… right?
Meat or vegetarian
In the traditional version of this soup, salted meat and pieces of smoked pigtail go. You can buy both of these at the toko in a bucket in the refrigerator.
The pigtail (we call it 'rabu') is not to everyone's taste. Don't you like it? Then you can also leave it out or replace it with pieces of smoked spareribs or 'crabs'. I myself make the soup with only salt meat. That is also very tasty!
Do you eat vegetarian or vegan? Then you can replace all the meat with a meat substitute with a firm 'bite'. Seitan, for example. This wheat gluten-based meat substitute stays firm enough even after cooking for a long time — a bit like chicken breast. If you decide not to put salt meat in the soup, you will need a stock cube to flavor the soup.
Ingredients for 6 servings:
- 500 gr raw kidney beans, soaked*
- 300 g smoked pork tail (optional)
- 500 g salt meat
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1 tomato, cubed
- 2 sprigs celery, chopped
- 1 winter carrot, diced
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 20 gr butter
*I always use the brand's kidney beans for this soup Valle Del Sole. You can find this brand in most supermarkets. The beans are always of good quality and available in different quantities. I can also heartily recommend the corn semolina from Valle Del Sole for making funchi, it has just that little bit more flavor and texture than the South American version.
Preparation sòpi di boonchi korá
Soak the kidney beans in plenty of water overnight. To speed up the process, you can add a pinch of baking soda.
Cut the pork tail and the salt meat into 2 cm cubes. Soak these pieces overnight in plenty of water as well. Then drain the water.
Place the meat (without the water) in a large pan along with the garlic cloves and add water again. Cook over low heat for about 60 minutes until the pork tail is soft and cooked through. Remove the meat from the pan and set it aside.
Taste the salinity of the water. If the water is too salty, remove 1 cup of water from the pan and add 1 cup of fresh water. Repeat this process until the taste is right.
Now add the kidney beans, onion, celery, tomato, carrot, sugar and butter and cook the soup over low heat until the kidney beans are tender and starting to fall apart. This makes the soup nice and thick.
Serve the soup warm, possibly over some cooked rice. Add more sugar and a pinch of cinnamon to taste after serving.
Sugar in the sòpi di boonchi kora?
My Italian wife is really 100% AGAINST sugar in 'hot food'. She just really doesn't appreciate that. That is why I omit the sugar during cooking and put (as we Curaçao more often) put a bowl of sugar on the table. This way, everyone can decide for themselves whether or not to put sugar — and how much — in the soup.
Do you love traditional Antillean soups? Then try our version of Chicken soup ('Sòpi di galiña')!
Do you have our new website SOULFOOD.NL seen already? There you will find many more delicious recipes that not all come from the Antillean kitchen!
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