West Indian Corn Soup

This is my interpretation of the amazing corn soup you can buy off street vendors here in Trinidad.  There are as many versions of this soup as there are cooks; I like my corn soup a bit sweeter than it’s made here, so I add a dash of sugar at the end.  I also omit the dumplings that you find in many of the versions you find here.

If you are looking for other variations, try the Naparima Girls High School cookbook (technically called The Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean) and this version on RecipeZaar.

To make this the Laura way, you’ll need:

  • Onions (2 or 3 med, less if large)
  • Sweet peppers (2 or 3, dep on size—red makes prettier soup but the color makes no difference, taste-wise)
  • Garlic (about a small head, minced or smashed to paste, or adjust to taste)
  • Seasoning peppers (4 or 5, to taste; if you can’t get the original don’t worry, just replace with a mild, heat-less chili)
  • Hot pepper (I use 1 scotch bonnet, split in half, but I get these easily here and I like my foot scorching hot; if you’d rather not risk playing with fire, use as much of any other hot pepper as you like )
  • 3 14-0z tins corn (I use two tins of whole-kernel corn and one tin of creamed corn, but you can use whichever you prefer, or even replace this with an equal amount of frozen corn)
  • 2 cubes vegetable broth
  • Good pinch turmeric
  • Thyme (a few sprigs, thrown in whole)
  • 1-2 bay feaves
  • 1-2 tsp. sugar (to taste)
  • Salt, black pepper, adobo powder (magic Puerto Rican seasoning powder)—all to taste

Saute the roughly chopped onion, sweet and seasoning peppers, and garlic until translucent.

Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover all the vegetables by a few inches to get a medium-brothy soup.   I don’t measure, I’m afraid, but trust me, if you cover the veg by about an inch and a half or so, the soup will be fine.

Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes (or until you remember to turn it off).

At this point, let it cool enough to puree or process.  Remove the bay leaf/leaves, thyme sprigs (just the stick will be left, so they will be easy to pull out), and the hot pepper (unless you’re feeling really suicidal), and puree until smooth. If you prefer a chunkier soup, you can separate some of the vegetables before pureeing the soup, then add them back in when you’re done pureeing.

This soup makes quite a large amount–usually the husband and I get two full dinners, plus a lunch or two, out of it (what can I say?  The man does eat).  It freezes and reheats beautifully, though, so it’s definitely worth making the full amount.


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