Happy Feast of the Theophany! As some of you may know I self-published an Egyptian cookbook in English about sixteen years ago. I published a revised edition in 2011 but both are out of print now although there is an ebook version of the second edition, “More Dining on the Nile” available through Amazon. Since they are no longer available in print and I have continued to modify and, hopefully, improve the recipes I decided they needed a more permanent digital existence which is accessible to all and accessible to feedback from all. So I intend to start publishing them here on my blog.
I thought this was the perfect one to start with as today we celebrate the Theophany and kolkas is traditionally eaten today. In fact, I’m not sure if it is made any other time throughout the year other than the Feast of the Theophany. Although savory dishes may, at times, suffer from lack of photogenicity they are not lacking in culinary tradition or nostalgic import.
In Egypt, the taro root and leaves are known as “kolkas” and has been traditionally prepared by Copts on the Feast of the Theophany. The taro root, while potato-like in texture, actually has a nutty flavor producing a hearty soup with rich flavors. When shopping for kolkas at a Middle Eastern market be sure to buy a package containing both the root and leaves.
Qul Qass (Egyptian Taro Root Soup)
- 14 oz package taro roots and leaves, thawed
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
In a large stockpot, bring taro roots and chicken stock to a gentle boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until roots are tender.
Melt butter in a small skillet and sauté garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add taro leaves and continue to sauté until dry and crisp. Add leaves to stock and heat through. Serve hot.