Malanga or Yautia are two names for the same tropical root vegetable. Malanga is also called cocoyam in Jamaica. Malanga is similar to taro root, but it has much more flavor. It is known as cool root or sweat root too. Malanga has a chemical in it that causes a very light misty sweat on your skin. That light sweat makes you feel like it is 10-20 degrees cooler on a very hot day! That is a blessing in tropical heat.I once cooked this soup at an English pub in Florida for Irish customers who were potato soup lovers. The customers kept asking "What kind of potato is it ?" They loved this soup! Everybody was feeling chilly from the light misty sweat effect of the malanga root. Some of the customers started sneezing from the cooling effect, when the ceiling fans blew fresh air their way! Good old Malanga!
Ginger kale soup is an old traditional caribbean soup. Ginger kale soup is very soothing and it has great health benefits. I used to offer ginger kale soup as a special du jour quite often in Florida.
A friend from the Cayman Islands had just gotten into the root vegetable produce business in a town where I was working. One day, he showed up at the kitchen of the restaurant with a couple cases each of yama blanco and yautia malanga. He gave me a great promotional price, because he was just starting his business. So, I bought a few cases of the tropical root vegetables.
That same day I was making ginger kale soup. I thought that malanga would be a very nice flavor to add to the soup I was making. I ate the first bowl of soup, just for the misty sweat effect of the malanga soup, because the kitchen was very hot and humid. The effects were immediate! It felt like somebody installed an air conditioner in that hot sub tropical kitchen. I offered a bowl to the English owner of the pub. He complimented both the flavor of the soup and its quick chilling effect!
Ginger Malanga Kale Soup Recipe:
This recipe makes 1 large bowl of soup!
There is nothing fancy about the techniques in making this soup. Like many caribbean soups, the ingredients are simply boiled.
Heat a sauce pot over medium high heat.
Add 2 1/2 cups of light chicken broth.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped celery.
Add 1 large handful of peeled and diced of malanga root. (Peel malanga with a knife. The root skin is coarse and tough. The malanga should be diced into 1/2" cube shapes.)
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped onion.
Add 1 large handful of chopped green kale leaf.
Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
Add 1 tablespoon of minced ginger.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 small squeeze of lime juice.
Bring the ingredients to a boil.
Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
Simmer the soup, till the diced malanga and kale become tender.
Ladle into a soup bowl.
No garnish is necessary!
Ginger kale soup has a nice healthy tropical caribbean flavor. It was a natural to add the flavorful malanga root to ginger kale soup. Malanga has a very interesting root vegetable flavor of its own. The texture of malanga is lighter than a potato. Yum! ... Shawna