For many, the fun starts on December 24. In most Bahamian homes, children are put to bed early so parents can stay up, do some last-minute wrapping, and indulge in the wine and spirits of The Bahamas. They graze over platters of meats and cheeses while casually sipping on glasses of red or white wine, not sleeping until every last present is wrapped (and every last drop of wine is gone), all while the children peacefully sleep with visions of Junkanoo dancers in their heads.
The day everyone is waiting for. Christmases in Paradise share similarities with an American Christmas, but with some added Bahamian flair. The day is filled with delicious meals, conversations, and laughter, followed by a night of dancing and music.
A Christmas morning isn’t complete without a big feast for breakfast. Most households enjoy souse (pronounced “sowse”), a scrumptious, savory soup combining onions, lime, celery, peppers, and meat. It’s a beloved dish on the island, and after just one bite, you’ll know why!
Bahamian Chicken Souse Recipe
- 2 lbs. Chicken, wings (jointed)
- 1 lb. Potato (peeled and diced)
- 8 oz. Onion (sliced)
- 2 stalks. Celery (diced)
- 3 each. Garlic Cloves (chopped)
- 2 each. Carrots (sliced)
- 2 tbsp. Allspice, whole
- 4 each. Limes (juice)
- 1 tsp. Pepper, Habanero (chopped)
- Salt (to taste)
- Add wings to a large pot. Cover with water. Bring the water to a boil. Remove from the stove, pour off the water, and rinse the wings and the pot with fresh water to remove residual particles. (This will prevent your souse from looking cloudy.)
- Return the pot to the stove and add wings, potatoes, onions, celery, garlic, and carrots. Add enough water to cover the ingredients by about 1 inch.
- Bring to a boil, add lime juice, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to a medium to low flame, simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt if necessary.
There’s nothing better paired with souse than Bahamian Johnny Cake. Get our recipe for this crowd-pleaser to make for your next occasion.