Tripe, cowheel, and beef are among the many thick kinds of soup that are often enjoyed as main meals in the Caribbean. The type of tripe that is most widely available and used is cow's tripe. It's used in this interesting recipe along with split peas, pumpkin, plantains, okra, and dumplings to create a delicious and wholesome soup.
The soup does require a long cooking time, so a pressure cooker is ideal for making it. You can use a regular stock pot, but it will take two to three hours to cook the tripe to the desired tenderness.
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 cup onions (diced)
- 6 sprigs thyme (fresh, divided)
- 2 pounds cow tripe (cut up)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 6 cups water (plus more to create soup)
- 1/2 cup yellow split peas (soaked overnight)
- 1 pound pumpkin (calabaza squash, cut into large chunks)
- 2 pounds green plantains (peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds)
- 6–8 okra
- 12 flour dumplings
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker.
- Add the onions and sauté until they're translucent (about 2 to 3 minutes).
- Add 3 sprigs of thyme and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the tripe and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 4 minutes.
- Add 6 cups water and stir. Cover the pressure cooker and let the soup cook for 45 to 50 minutes. If using a stockpot, cover it and cook for 2 to 3 hours.
- Add the peas and enough additional water to make soup. Cover the pot and cook for 5 more minutes. Release the pressure cooker valve to let out steam and open the pressure cooker.
- Add the pumpkin, plantains, and the remaining thyme. Cook until the plantains are almost melting. Don't close the pressure cooker at this stage. Just rest the cover on top of the pot.
- Add the okra and dumplings to the pot. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir and serve.
Tips and Variations
Admittedly, tripe is an acquired taste. It's the stomach of an animal, specifically a cow in this recipe. A cow has three stomachs and all of them are used to produce tripe. However, you're not eating the whole stomach, just its lining. Ask your butcher to remove the pieces of fat for you. You will also want to rinse it well when you get home.
When you're using a pressure cooker, begin timing after the first whistle.
As with almost any dish, and particularly soup, you can add any of your favorite ingredients to this recipe to make it uniquely yours. Some cooks add carrots, green olives, or raisins, while others prefer garlic. You could also substitute saba bananas for the plantains or replace 1/4 cup of the water with lime juice. Some tripe soup recipes call for two pigs feet as well.