Hawaiian Ulu and Leek Soup

Hawaiian Ulu and Leek Soup

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Credit: ACF Chef Peter Merriman
National Culinary Review, May/June 2023

From the Chef

“Breadfruit, or ulu as it is called in Hawaii, is a shining star among Hawaiian crops that is largely unknown to mainland chefs. Nutritionally, it is a complete protein with all of the essential amino acids, is a good source of complex carbohydrates and contains such minerals as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and more. Outside of Hawaii, breadfruit grows in limited quantities in Florida. Breadfruit that is processed, steamed, frozen or made into flour is available for purchase through Hawaii Ulu Cooperative or from markets that specialize in Caribbean fruits and vegetables.”


4 ounces canola oil or butter
1 onion, peeled, medium dice, about 12 ounces
3 leeks, medium size, whites only, medium dice, washed well
3 pieces garlic clove, sliced thin
8-10 ounces ulu (breadfruit), steamed, peeled, seed removed, medium dice
2 teaspoons each salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry vermouth
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Optional: coconut milk, to taste


1. Method:
In a pot, heat oil/butter. Add onion, leeks, garlic and ulu. Reduce heat to medium and stir. Cook for about 7 minutes.
2. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and chili pepper flakes. Stir and cook 1 minute.
Add vermouth and reduce by half.
3. Add stock and lemon juice. Continue to cook on medium-low. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
4. Pour soup into blender. Puree on high speed for about 1.5 minutes with lid on tight.
5. Remove from blender. If the soup is too thick, add additional liquid, such as coconut milk. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Chopped shrimp, chives and croutons can also be used for garnish.


2 quarts


Soup, The National Culinary Review, Vegetarian

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Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals