Thursday, March 10, 2016

Green Papaya and Carrot Soup (serves 4 as part of a shared meal)

I have a collection of large green papayas to eat and unfortunately I am on Maui for just over a week. Recently I made soup with half of a green papaya and it was so tasty I decided to make more and share with a few friends. Cooking the green papaya in a soup makes it taste more like a vegetable and nothing like a fruit. I would compare the taste similar to a winter melon or gourd. I used pork bones but you can use chicken or beef with bones or even oxtail. I like carrots for flavor, color and shape. However, you can be creative and add other vegetables to your pot. Be sure to choose a papaya that is still hard. I use my thumb and gently press into its flesh. If it feels firm to touch then it is good to use. If it feels springy then leave it in a paper bag to speed up the ripening process and eat it as a fruit. Be sure to check on the bag every 1-2 days for ripeness. I have forgotten to check and to no surprise found it got a little furry!

Green Papaya and Carrot Soup (serves 4 as part of a shared meal)

Ingredients:

About 2 lbs pork bones
Enough water to cover all the bones and papaya and carrot (I used about 8 cups of water)
1/2 large green papaya, peeled, cut into bite size
1 large carrot, peeled, cut into 1/4 inch rings
1 bunch scallion, cut into 1 inch lengths
Fish sauce
Salt

Method:

1) In a pot add just enough water to cover the pork bones. Gently boil the bones for about 5 minutes.
2) Remove from heat and clean the bones with cold water. Wash the pot.
3) Return the bones to the clean pot. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes uncover. Skim and discard any foam or impurities that float to the top.
4) Add carrots, cook for about 5 minutes.
5) Add papaya and cook until everything is soft enough to pierce with a fork (about another 10-15 minutes) or to your preference.
6) Add scallions and season with fish sauce and salt.

dark clouds over West Maui and sugar cane field (Maui, 2016)
new moon after sunset on Haleakala (Maui, 2016)
So have you ever wonder what's at the end of a rainbow?
Well, this is it. A clump of trees!

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