My Soul Looks Back

My Soul Looks Back

by Jessica B. Harris

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501125904
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 05/09/2017
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 829,429
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.37(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jessica B. Harris is one of a handful of African Americans who have achieved prominence in the culinary world. She holds a PhD from NYU, teaches English at Queens College, and lectures internationally. Her articles have appeared in Vogue, Food & Wine, Essence, and the New Yorker, among other publications. She has made numerous television and radio appearances and has been profiled in the New York Times. One of the preeminent scholars of the food of the African Diaspora, she has been inducted into the James Beard Who's Who in Food and Beverage in America, received an honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University, holds awards from sources too numerous to note, and has helped the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture to conceptualize its cafeteria.


Jessica B. Harris is one of a handful of African Americans who have achieved prominence in the culinary world. She holds a PhD from NYU, teaches English at Queens College, and lectures internationally. Her articles have appeared in Vogue, Food & Wine, Essence, and the New Yorker, among other publications. She has made numerous television and radio appearances and has been profiled in the New York Times. One of the preeminent scholars of the food of the African Diaspora, she has been inducted into the James Beard Who's Who in Food and Beverage in America, received an honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University, holds awards from sources too numerous to note, and has helped the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture to conceptualize its cafeteria.

Read an Excerpt

My Soul Looks Back
Caldo Gallego—Galician White Bean Soup

I first tasted caldo gallego on a trip to Santiago de Compostela more years ago than I want to count. It was love at first slurp: the combination of the slightly spicy chorizo sausage, the bland starch of the potato, and the tang of the greens was perfectly suited to that northern Spanish town where they boast they have made rainfall an art form. I was thrilled to discover it on the menu at El Faro, where many chowed down on shrimp in green sauce and other shellfishy delights. It rapidly became my go-to order: comfort in a bowl. Even today, one spoonful takes me time-traveling back to the scarred wooden booths in the restaurant’s back room and reminds me of my youth.

– Serves six –

1 ham hock (about 1/2 pound)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1/4 pound chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch-thick cubes

2 cups small white turnips, roughly chopped

2 cans cannellini beans and their liquid

4 cups chopped kale

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the ham hock by cooking it in water to cover for 2 hours. Reserve the cooking liquid and add enough water to make 10 cups.

In a large, heavy saucepot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and chorizo and cook until the onions soften and the chorizo starts to brown, about five minutes.

Add the ham hock and liquid, the potatoes, and the turnips. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the surface, until the ham, potatoes, and turnips soften, about 11/2 hours.

Add the beans and the kale and cook until the greens are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove the ham hock. Pull the meat off the bone and discard the bone. Stir the meat into the pot. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 Club 81-Sammy and Jimmy 5

Chapter 2 And the Baby Made Three 23

Chapter 3 Bantam Sam was the Man 57

Chapter 4 Oh, the People You'll Meet! 79

Chapter 5 Oh, the Places You'll Go! West Side Rambles 107

Chapter 6 Wanderlust: Sonoma, Haiti, and Paris 133

Chapter 7 Titine and Tabasco 157

Chapter 8 Soul-Full 183

Chapter 9 Aftermath 205

Chapter 10 It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over! 225

Playlist 245

Acknowledgments 251

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