Bouillon (Bouyon) Vegetable soup
Ok , Please don’t let yourself be misled by that title up there.
Bouillon (bouyon : pronounced *boo-yoh* in creole) is not your usual vegetable soup. This mixture of vitamins can revitalize you in an instant. Rich in all sorts of nutritious veggies.
I recently attended a Nigerian wedding. They served a bouillon as an appetizer in a coffee cup! What? Can somebody say: Perfect!
I didn’t even know it was also part of their culture.
This tasted just like home. I mean, spicy with the taste of goat broth in there. It was a 10 mn heaven sip. Let that sink in!
Back home it was a Saturday delicacy. EVERY SINGLE SATURDAY!!!!!
We would wake up already knowing what would be on the menu. It would either be that or “tchaka” (another revitalizing soup)
If you grew up having to drink this mess of a soup, you probably hated it as a child! Filled with all these “terrible” vegetables, spinach, plantains, carrots, collard greens. I’d always fish for the yummy stuff: The dombrey (dumpling) ,goat, lamb or beef meat! Yup! That’s the only thing that would make me eat it.
But now, I can never refuse a bowl of BOUILLON.
I can now say that I’m officially a HAITIAN WOMAN.
This may take a while to prepare but it’s literally a super easy recipe. It’s just about throwing ingredients in a bowl and letting them boil. But like any cooking, it’s a DANCE. So let’s dance!
You can make it in the comfort of your own home.
CAVEAT LECTOR: This recipe is my own. It’s the closest to what seemed to make sense to me. I’ve done my research and realized that every single recipe out there is different. I made sure mine was beginners-friendly. It irks me to see how several readers have almost eaten the cooks alive. Those cooks who attempted to try this recipe. They worked hard to expose their culture. Negative comments are not welcomed here. I am however, open to constructive criticism and the sharing of different knowledge. Our dishes are cooked differently in the North, South , East and West. Same goes for our accents, the way we dress and our superstitious beliefs etc. All different!
N.B. You can add or remove whatever ingredient.
- Cooked Goat meat or Beef meat or Lamb meat (Click here to know how). This will be the bulk of the cooking time as I always recommend to cook it for over an hour. But that’s up to you.
- 2 scallions (green onion)
- 1 Onion (1/2 for the epis, 1/2 for sauteing)
- 2-3 tbsps of tomato paste (I used tomato sauce. It’s my preference)
- 2 tbsps of olive oil
- 1tbsp of lemon
- A dash of vinegar
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 stems of celeri
- 1 Maggi
- Spinach, Kale , Collard greens (all or just one )
- 2 Potatoes
- 2 Plantain
- 3 Carrots
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper
- Crabs (optional)
- 1 Bell pepper (red and/or green)
- Cloves (about 2/3)
- flour, salt and water (for the dumplings. Optional!)
- Before we begin, Very important. DO NOT discard of the stew/sauce that resulted from boiling the meat.
- Prepare the epis (Haitian seasoning) by mixing onions, scallions, tomato paste, olive oil, lemon, vinegar, bell peppers, celery, maggi in a food processor. I added about 2-3 tbsp of Grace jerk chicken seasoning in there instead of the scotch bonnet pepper. (both are optional as it makes the soup super spicy)
- Clean all your veggies. Set aside the kale/ collard greens/ spinach.
- Peel and cut potatoes, plantains and carrots into pieces.
- In a separate pot, boil potatoes and plantains for about 15 minutes. This allows for them to get pre-cooked so they don’t get too mushy in the final mixture. You can leave the carrots aside as they don’t take long to cook.
- Pour 1/2 cup of olive oil inside a separate deep pot. Cut 1/2 an onion in pieces. Do the same for red and green bell peppers. Add cloves and saute with the prepared meat.
- Add about 1 cup of your epis to the mixture and stir evenly.
- Pour in the sauce of the prepared meat (see step 1) into the sauteed mixture.
- Pour in all of your vegetables except for the leaved-greens.
- Lower the fire, cover the pot and boil/simmer for about 15mns.
- Add the kale, collard greens and spinach and cover again. Let it simmer for as long as you want it to. (I waited until the greens shrunk and melted into the pot)
- Add 1/2 tbsp of butter ( I’ve seen a lot of Haitian cooks do that. Apparently it adds flavor. I do not question this, I somehow believe it Lol)
- For the dumplings, it’s the easiest mix ever. Just mix water and flour and salt together. If the mix is too sticky, add flour. And if it’s to dry, add small tablespoons of water at a time. Then, roll into balls or cylinders. See image below.
You can taste the soup as you’re cooking to find out what it’s missing. I did, and realized mine needed a little bit more salt and a little bit more piman (hot pepper).
Image reference : http://haitian-recipes.com/doumbrey-dumplings/