American legend has it that General George Washington kept his men from starving at Valley Forge with Pepper-pot Soup. Although this dish had its origins in the West Indies, it was actually quite popular in Philadelphia during Colonial times: Washington himself may have been introduced to Pepper-pot Soup on his visit to Barbados in 1751, where he enjoyed Cohobblopot, a version made with okra. Today the Philadelphia style Pepper-pot Soup typically includes tripe, while the Caribbean-Creole version is more vegetarian friendly. Here is Chef Raymond Jackson’s version of the soup, perfect for a chilly fall day!hef Rayond’s Pepper-pot Soup
2 each Red Pepper (med dice) 2 each Green Pepper (med dice) 1 each Large Red Onion (med dice)
¼ cup Canola oil (for sautéing) 3 qt Vegetable Stock (you can use chicken) 2 cans Coconut milk 13.5 oz
1 each Butternut Squash (peeled & diced) 5 each Parsnips (small dice)
2 each Acorn Squash (2T Cinnamon, 12 Cloves, 1T All-Spice, 4 oz butter, ½ cup Brown Sugar)
1 each Large bunch Kale (destem and rough chop) 3 each Scotch Bonnet Peppers
6 sprigs Fresh Thyme 3 each Bay Leaves
- Cut Acorn Squash in quarters and remove seeds. Season with cinnamon, clove all-spice, butter and sugar. Place squash in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Roast in a 350° oven until VERY soft. Set aside to cool.
- In a large stock use canola oil to sauté peppers and onion. Season with salt and pepper (or favorite spice mix).
- Add vegetable stock, diced butternut squash, diced parsnips, scotch bonnet, thyme and bay leaves. Simmer gently for approximately 45 minutes or until squash is slightly tender. Do NOT boil or the scotch bonnet peppers may burst and the soup may be too spicy.
- While soup is simmering, pull acorn squash pulp from skin (discard cloves). Thoroughly puree with coconut milk until smooth. Add to stock pot and continue to simmer.
- Add chopped kale and continue to cook until kale and squash are tender.
- Remove scotch bonnet, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper and/or your favorite spice blend and a touch of your favorite hot sauce.