• Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 40m

6 Servings

Callaloo is the name of this traditional West Indian soup as well as of the large fan-shaped leafy greens--sometimes called dasheen leaves or taro root leaves--that are its chief component. The greens taste like a cross between spinach and cabbage.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound callaloo (see Note) or spinach, stemmed, leaves cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons basil
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons celery leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and ground pepper


In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the callaloo, basil, parsley and celery leaves and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and barely tender, about 7 minutes.

Add the water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderate heat until the greens are soft, about 10 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until perfectly smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan; add the cream and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then serve in soup plates.


The soup can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.


Callaloo leaves are available in West Indian and Asian markets.


A simple, dry white, like the 1995 Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc, pairs well with the fresh taste of the greens.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 3545

nutrition information per serving

254 calories; 25g total fat; 48mg cholesterol; 131mg sodium; 6g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 4g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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