People from the Caribbean love the taste of the wonderful plantain. It's been a staple of our diet for centuries. Aguají, or sopa de plátano (Dominican plantain soup) is a symphony of strong flavors in a light soup.

– 3 plantain (green, unripe), peeled – 6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed – 1 stalk leek, cut into slices (see notes) – 4 leaves cilantro ancho (culantro or recao) – 6 allspice berries (malagüeta) – teaspoon oregano (dry, ground) – 3 tablespoons olive oil – ¾ tablespoon salt, (or more, to taste), divided – teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground) – 1 handful cilantro, (optional)


Roasting plantain:

Roast the plantains in a preheated oven at 400 ºF (200 ºC) for 35 mins. The plantains will turn a light golden color, and become crispy on the outside. Remove from the oven and crush with a mortar and pestle.

Boiling soup:

Heat 2 qt [2 lt] of water over medium heat. Add the garlic, leek, cilantro ancho, all-spice berries, oregano, oil, salt, and pepper. Stir. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, adding if it's necessary to maintain the same level of liquid. Add the crushed plantains and heat until the plantains are heated through.


Remove from the heat, and sprinkle with the cilantro leaves. Remove the allspice berries, taste and add salt to taste if necessary, and serve hot.

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