Georgia’s Ital Soup

georgia's ital soup

Call me ignorant, but if you were to rewind 2 years and ask me to name some typical Jamaican dishes, comfort foods like jerk chicken, fried fish, macaroni cheese and curry mutton would of been the first things I would have thought of.

Soon after meeting Georgia however, she introduced me to a whole new world of Caribbean cuisine – Ital.

Ital is a Rastafarian belief system that all food should be eaten to promote vitality. In essence, all food should be natural, pure and from the earth. Most Rastas who adhere to Ital are either vegetarian or vegan as it is believed that animal products are not for human consumption.

Georgia posted her version of Ital Soup on Instagram last week and got a load of requests to share the recipe. So here it is! Don’t be afraid of the long ingredients list, once everything is chopped up this is really straightforward to cook. And full of plant based vitality.

Ital is vital!

(Step by step version of the recipe is at the bottom of this post).

Start by finely chopping the spring onion, brown onion, garlic and bell pepper. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot before adding the onions, garlic and pepper. Heat for 3 minutes.

ital soup recipe - all the ingredients

All the ingredients

Next, while the onions, garlic and pepper and frying, rinse the split peas in a sieve and discard any discoloured peas. Add the split peas to the pot and mix into the onion, garlic and pepper. Add 8 cups of boiling water to the pot, stir again and bring to the boil.

Onions, garlic and bell pepper ready to go into the pot

Onions, garlic and bell pepper ready to go into the pot

Once boiling, add the thyme, oregano all purpose seasoning to the pot. Reduce the heat a little and stir regularly to avoid any sticking. While the pot is simmering, peel the skin from the yam and chop into small thumb sized pieces. Add chopped yam to the pot with the coconut milk.

While the pot is simmering, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Peel the skin off the eddoes and chop into thumb size pieces. Deseed and peel the skin off the pumpkin. Chop into thin slices. Peel and finely dice the carrots. Add all vegetables to the broth and reduce heat to simmer.

ital soup

Simmer for 40 minutes before adding 1 tsp Oregano, 1/2 tsp all purpose seasoning, 1 tsp salt (leave the salt if you want the soup to be strictly ital), ginger, scotch bonnet, bay leaves and all spice. Stir well. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

While the pot is simmering, make the dumplings. Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Slowly add the water while mixing and kneading the dough with your hands. Once firm, break a small piece of the dough into your hand and roll into a sausage shape before adding to the pot. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Just after adding the dumplings

After adding the dumplings, add the okra and plantain to the pot. Stir and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes. Finally add the spinach to the pot and simmer for another 10 minuets or until everything is cooked through.

ital soup

Serve and enjoy!

ital soup recipe

Georgia's Ital Soup

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 people
Author Sam

Ingredients

For the soup

  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1.5 tsp all purpose seasoning
  • 1.5 cups yam (yellow or white)
  • 2 eddoes
  • 1/4 whole pumpkin
  • 2 large carrots
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1/8 tsp All Spice
  • 3/4 scotch bonnet pepper (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp salt can be left out to make this strictly ital
  • 2cm cube fresh ginger (finely chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 okras (sliced)
  • 1 plantain (sliced)
  • 1 handful spinach

For the dumplings

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 pinch salt can be left out to make this strictly ital
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the spring onion, brown onion, garlic and bell pepper. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot before adding the onions, garlic and pepper. Heat for 3 minutes.

  2. While the onions, garlic and pepper and frying, rinse the split peas in a sieve and discard any discoloured peas. Add the split peas to the pot and mix into the onion, garlic and pepper. Add 8 cups of boiling water to the pot, stir again and bring to the boil.

  3. Add the thyme, oregano all purpose seasoning to the pot.

  4. Peel the skin from the yam and chop into small thumb sized pieces. Add chopped yam to the pot with the coconut milk.

  5. While the pot is simmering, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Peel the skin off the eddoes and chop into thumb size pieces. Deseed and peel the skin off the pumpkin. Chop into thin slices. Peel and finely dice the carrots. Add all vegetables to the broth and reduce heat to simmer.

  6. Simmer for 40 minutes before adding 1 tsp Oregano, 1/2 tsp all purpose seasoning, 1 tsp salt, ginger, scotch bonnet, bay leaves and all spice. Stir well. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

  7. While the pot is simmering, make the dumplings. Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Slowly add the water while mixing and kneading the dough with your hands. Once firm, break a small piece of the dough into your hand and roll into a sausage shape before adding to the pot. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

  8. Add the okra and plantain to the pot. Stir and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes. 

  9. Add the spinach to the pot and simmer for another 10 minuets or until everything is cooked through.