Platano Soup

Green (unripe) plantains aren’t sweet; they taste more like potatoes than like bananas. Mashed green plantains are my favorite side dish and they’re also delicious in this soup, which is very decadent and also a very pretty, light yellow color.
By | November 12, 2015


Serves 4 to 6; makes 8 to 10 cups

1. Put the ham hocks in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover by 2 or 3 inches. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, and simmer the ham hocks for 1 hour, skimming off the foam that arises to the top.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and boil until the plantains are tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

3. Turn off the heat, remove the ham hocks, and set them aside to cool to room temperature.

4. Puree the soup with an immersion blender and add more salt to taste.

5. Pull the meat off the ham and finely chop it, and stir it into the soup. Serve warm.

Excerpted from My Life on a Plate by Kelis. Published by Kyle Books.  Photography by David Loftus.


  • 2 smoked ham hocks (or 1 ham shank, halved; about 2 pounds)
  • 3 pounds green plantains (7 to 8), peeled and cut into large segments
  • 2 large yellow onion, diced
  • Peeled cloves from half a head of garlic (about 8), smashed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 long fresh oregano sprigs
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
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