Caribbean Kaleidoscope Stew

by Sarah on October 23, 2012 · 8 comments

I’ve started a new series. Not for the blog, necessarily. But just, you know, for life.

I call it: Soup of the Week.

The key to the Soup of the Week is it has to be easy, filling, and perfect for the school lunchbox.

[Bonus points are awarded if it makes the house smell delicious all day on Sunday. :)]This week’s soup? Caribbean Kaleidoscope Stew, named for the Trader Joe’s product I discovered last weekend that inspired it.

Did I pick through all of the bags to find the one with the most yellow stalk pieces? Maybe.

This stew came about in the way that many of my recipes do: I had a bunch of random food items taking up space in the fridge—or, as shown below, the freezer–that I figured I should probably use.(Obviously you can use fresh ingredients if you have them. But frozen vegetables help you hold on to summer all year long.*)

*This statement endorsed by the Frozen Vegetable Council of America.

I went ‘Caribbean’ because of the alliteration.

Allspice is entirely underrated. Thyme should go in everything.

And also because I spontaneously purchased a very large tub of this Santa Barbera Mango Peach Salsa at Costco.Even for me–the lady who eats salsa with a spoonthat’s a lot to consume on my own.

So I thought to myself, “Self, what would happen if…”“…I seasoned with that salsa?”

What happens is a vibrant vegetable explosion with a subtle sweet heat and spice, made a bit more complex by the addition of the allspice and a wee bit of ginger.It also takes less than 30 minutes to prep, tastes even better days later, and is interesting enough that I won’t be sick of it before Friday.

Cue the congas and steel drums, y’all, because have ourselves a (Soup of the Week) winner!

Caribbean Kaleidoscope Stew

[Makes 10 cups or so]

  • 1/2 cup diced onion (135g)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground allspice
  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 9 cups rainbow chard, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped bell peppers (red, yellow, orange)
  • 1 14.5-oz no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup tropical (mango peach, or other) salsa
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2-3 cups water
  1. In a large soup pot, steam onions, ginger, and spices in a layer of water (or saute in a light oil) until softened and fragrant.
  2. Stir in zucchini, squash, and peppers to coat with spices.
  3. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add tomatoes, salsa, broth, and water to the pot. Stir well.
  5. Bring stew to a simmer, and then wilt in chard.
  6. Allow to sit, simmering or not, for at least an hour for flavors to blend.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table October 23, 2012 at 9:37 am

I love mangoes in savory dishes! I cannot wait to eat fruit again with reckless abandon. Le sigh.


Brittany @ Delights and Delectables October 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

fruity salsa in soup = win! I need to look for that rainbow chard at TJ’s!


Heather @ Better With Veggies October 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Love the sweet and savory combination – and that you’re cooking up lots of soups! It’s the perfect meal this time of year! :)


Tricia @ Saving room for dessert October 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I love this idea Ms. Smart! You are soooo smart :) You should make the lentil soup – I’ve made it twice already and love to take it for lunch to work. Let there be soup!


Tiff (@LoveSweatBeers) October 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

As you may have noticed, I’m a huuuge fan of one-pot meals. If it were colder where I am, I’d be having soup for lunch more often.


Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles October 23, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Looks good! I def do not eat soup often enough


Allie October 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

Yeah soup of the week! I usually make a weekly stew/pile of lentil smush per week too. It IS the perfect lunch–plus, if you have a crockpot, the perfect “I’ll just dump this stuff in here and come back later” recipe. I love fruit salsas–fruit salsa in soup? Genius.


Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli October 25, 2012 at 12:28 am

I’ve been hankering (oh yeah, I said it) for a big pot of stew or chili lately, but haven’t been able to find the motivation to actually make it…ugh, I’ve been so lazy lately. Guess what…I’m ashamed to admit it…but I had to toss the basil I bought which was supposed to become your apple/ginger pesto! I totally forgot about making it and then went on my trip to St. Louis…see? LAZY! And now I’m kicking myself because I wasted it! Boo! :(

Anywho! Enough whining…this stew looks great! I love that you used the salsa for “seasoning”! I swear, you and me, we are the queens of condiments aren’t we? 😉


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