From New Year’s to Super Bowl and Fat Tuesday, it’s already been a tough year for our diets, but we’ve managed to make strides toward a healthier year. Small things matter, such as walking more, eating more vegetables, drinking more water, and reducing unnecessary carbs (that means one tortilla per taco!) and, sigh, the frequency of our pan dulce binges.
Thankfully, with Cacique® cheeses and creams, we still have plenty of room for flavor and healthier meals. Cacique® cheeses and creams are all made locally, and provide us endless inspiration for full, wholesome meals. With moderation and smart substitutions any meal can be a luxe indulgence, even during Lent.
Don’t believe me? Here is our recipe for Creamy Plantain Soup. Plantains, or platanos, can be really starchy and tannic when unripe (green) but turn cloyingly sweet when they are ripe (brown). For this recipe, you’re definitely going to want to use the unripened green plantains because this is a savory soup and the ripe plantains would be better suited for making dessert. They cook like potatoes in this recipe, softening as they cook, absorbing the sautéing aromatics of the onions, carrots, and celery. I also make a smart substitution by swapping out the heavy cream I normally use with Cacique’s Crema Mexicana, cutting roughly half the calories and fat while maintaining that mild buttery taste and velvety texture. This soup is great on its own or sprinkled with crumbled Cacique® Queso Fresco and some fresh chopped cilantro.
So remember to get your steps in and lay off the pan dulce, but don’t sacrifice flavor in your next meal starting with my Creamy Plantain Soup!
Note: Click the ‘Products‘ tab above to learn more about the Cacique® ingredients used in this recipe. You can find these ingredients near you by clicking the ‘Find Stores‘ tab, selecting the products you are looking for, and entering your zip code.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large green plantains, peeled and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 large rib of celery, diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup Cacique® Crema Mexicana
- 1 (10 ounce) package of Cacique® Ranchero® Queso Fresco, crumbled
- Salt to taste
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot (approx. 8-qt.) over medium-high heat.
- Add the plantains, onions, carrots and celery into the pot, making sure to evenly coat everything in oil. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for about 10 minutes, until the plantains soften. Stir every 1-2 minutes to prevent burning. (Adjust heat and oil as needed.)
- Stir in the garlic the last minute of sautéing, making sure to stir constantly.
- Add the broth and raise the heat to high. Bring it to a boil (about 5-7 minutes) then reduce it to a simmer uncovered. Allow the soup to simmer until the plantains are completely soft, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Cacique® Crema Mexicana and about half the package of Cacique® Queso Fresco.
- Purée the soup in batches and return to the pot to serve. Adjust the thickness by adding more broth/water. Season to taste with salt and extra black pepper. Serve with remaining crumbled queso fresco.