Food & Travel

St. Lucian bouyon

(Patricia Borns for The Boston Globe)
July 7, 2010

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Serves 8

Dale Harris might add lamb, chicken, beef, goat, or pig to the pot. Pumpkin or yam can replace the sweet potato, dasheen can be used instead of yucca, if you can find it. Some chefs substitute cabbage for spinach and others add tomatoes, mild chili peppers, and celery to the vegetable mix. Harris’s stew is garnished with dumplings. This version contains fresh ham hocks or pork shoulder, lots of root vegetables, and spinach.


1 pound fresh ham hocks or pork shoulder
8 cups water
1 bay leaf

1. In a large soup pot, combine ham hocks or pork, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer 1 hour.

2. Remove the bay leaf and ham or pork from the pot.


2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 white sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup lentils
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 plantains, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 green bananas, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 average yucca ( 3/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed
Salt, to taste
Hot sauce (for serving)

1. In a large bowl of cold water, combine the russet and sweet potatoes, carrots, and onion; set aside.

2. When the stock is ready, add the lentils. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Remove the bones and fat from the ham or pork. Coarsely chop the meat and add it to the lentils with the garlic, oil, potatoes and other root vegetables, plantains, bananas, and yucca.

4. Return to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.

5. Add the spinach, taste for seasoning, and add salt, if you like. Serve with hot sauce.

Patricia Borns. Adapted from Dale Harris