I am. I am a sucker for Soups & Stews especially during the colder months. Soups are such a great food because they represent all the elements working in harmony. They help us stay grounded and fluid, warm and cool all at the same time. They resonate nothing less than balance. Balance of earth and water, fire and air. And that’s not all; soups and stews are great meals for healing the throat chakra.
One of my favorite stews, is callaloo, or kallalo an island dish, common to the Caribbean islands (think: Trinidad, Jamaica…). It is typically made with dasheen, known as a bush green, okra and coconut milk, but I have had my share with its variations and depending which island influence you choose, the end results can be surprisingly different.
Ten years ago, I was taught the secrets of callaloo by one of the most amazing wood carvers and former chef from Suriname, Adiante. While his tutelage is not forsaken, each time since then, I have prepared it differently, depending on what greens are available or in season. Spinach is great this time of year, and works quite well, as does chard. However, through trial and error, I found that greens, like kale and collards that are more fibrous, might not be the best match for callaloo. Unless of course, you want to cook it to death. This time, I used chard and okra because they both were in season and abundantly available.
If you want to stick to the classic callaloo, finding a market that sells ethnic foods would be your best bet. In my neighborhood, we have Lee’s Market in Germantown, where you will find a variety of island foods, from spices, drinks to dasheen. For the most part, the vegetables in callaloo are seasoned, cooked and pureed, but I prefer visible chunks of vegetables and appreciate the different textures at play. The green frequency of callaloo makes it an ideal food for the heart chakra as well as the throat.
The throat chakra resonates to the color blue, but just because blue foods are too few (with the exception of blueberries) does not mean that it cannot be brought to balance with its compatible food. Sea vegetables, such as dulse, nori, and kelp are especially nourishing to the throat as are soups, stews, sauces and juices. And most us may already know that a great sauce can make most meals exceptionally delicious.
Our throat chakra gives us a necessary connection to our food, by incorporating our senses, serving as the medium between that which nourishes us to the other Chakras, such as the heart, solar plexus, sacral and root. Our food choices and words for this chakra are essential in maintaining its balance. When considering preparing this soup, or any other to nourish the throat chakra, accompany it with positive intentions and sound vibrations in the art and practice of contemplation. If food is medicine, then preparing it should be a meditation. By speaking and digesting our truth, we can empower ourselves. We can unblock the passageway to the higher centers, and a great way to start clearing your throat is to… Eat your Soup (or stew).
©2012 by Elizabette Andrade. All Rights Reserved.