Editor's Note: A few weeks back, you, the Serious Eats Community mentioned in a Talk thread that you wanted to see some more coverage of Latin cuisines from the Americas South of Mexico. Well you spoke, and we listened. Check back each week for recipes from Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua, Peru, and beyond.
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You'd think that with the amount of cooking I'm required to do that my wife pretty much never has to step foot in the kitchen. And that's true. Sort of. If she had the will and desire to eat turkey every single day for the two weeks while I'm testing Thanksgiving recipes, or nothing but cheese sauce and chili fries during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, then she'd have no problem at all.
Unfortunately, she's a woman of taste (as is evidenced by her choice in husband) who also likes a bit of variety in her life (sorry dear, you're stuck with only me on that one).
So it happens on occasion that I'll come home to a hot meal, and it's usually something incredibly delicious and simple that I'd never think to make on my own.
Last week it was sopa de platano—Colombian plantain soup.
If you don't count salt and oil, the recipe's only got four ingredients. My wife sometimes even leaves out the onions.
The start of the process—frying the green plantains—is pretty much identical to frying plantains to make patacones (which means that it's the perfect time to pull double duty on your plantain frying and get both recipes done at the same time). After that, you add the fried plantains to a pot with sautéed onions and chicken stock. As the starchy plantains simmer away, they break down, thickening the soup into a rich, rib-sticking, nearly porridge-like consistency, but without the heaviness of a grain or meat-based stew. It's good stuff for a chilly November night.
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About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.