With split peas as the base, Caribbean Corn Soup with Dumplings – Trini Style is a protein packed soup that serves as a hearty and filling meal.
Fake it til you make it! Most of us have heard this expression before and I put this expression into practice and that is how I learned how to make this Corn Soup. I used to be the chef at a nursery school and the owner was from Trinidad. Being from the Caribbean, she was a proponent of fresh natural foods. We did not serve processed foods at the school, except for Fridays. Fridays we ordered pizza so that I could complete the state paperwork necessary every week.
Every season I would change the menu. As I was working on the winter menu, she came into the kitchen and saw me drafting out the schedule where I had noted Split Pea Soup. She suggested I make Corn Soup and started telling me nostalgic memories of her and corn soup and went on as she usually did about the healthful benefits of Caribbean food. As she is telling me this, I am thinking – ok this corn soup must be a Trini thing as I had never encountered it before. So when she asked me if I knew how to make Trinidad Corn Soup, I replied with confidence “Oh of course, it’s one of my favorites.” I had never had this soup in my life and was clueless about what went into it, except the corn of course.
In this age of the Internet, I don’t understand when I meet professional cooks/chefs who say they can’t make something. A quick internet search and if you have culinary technical knowledge as a background, nothing is really out of reach as long as you’re willing to do a little research and step out of your comfort zone.
I spent that weekend going over different recipes I found on the Internet as well as Caribbean cookbooks I own and came up with my own version that the kids ended up loving. On the days Corn Soup was served, I never got any leftovers coming back to the kitchen. Let me tell you, the 1 ½ – 5 year old is a tough crowd. If they don’t like it, there is nothing you can do to get these kids to eat it…no matter how hungry they are!
In that version, I made it more #kidfriendly by omitting the hot pepper and pureeing it to a smoother consistency. This is the more adult version with a heartier consistency and pepper. I have noted both in the recipe below.
Caribbean Corn Soup with Dumplings – Trini Style
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 5 tablespoons green seasoning
- 2 cups split yellow peas / chana dal soaked overnight
- 1 Scotch Bonnet pepper split in half
- 2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 3 corn cobs cut into small pieces
- 16 oz. package frozen carrots and peas defrosted
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shadoe beni/ chandon beny/ bhanhaniya (sub cilantro if not available)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Dumpling Ingredients:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces
- ½ - 2/3 cup milk or water
- Heat oil. Add green seasoning. (Alternately, you can sauté a combination of onion, garlic and bell pepper). Fry for a few minutes.
- Add split peas. Stir fry for a few minutes until the peas are well coated with the seasoning.
- Add 8 cups water and cook until peas are very soft and tender.
- Using an immersion blender, coarsely puree. (Alternately puree with 4 more cups of water and puree until smooth.)
- Add 4 cups of water. (Do not add if you have pureed smooth as noted above.) Add Scotch Bonnet and cumin powder. Bring to a boil.
- Add corn and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the dumplings.
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles the size of small peas.
- Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, just until the batter comes together.
- Form into small balls or ovals as desired.
- Add the defrosted vegetables into the soup and bring back to a boil.
- Add dumplings, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add shadoe beny, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add lime juice and stir to combine.
- Adjust salt and pepper as necessary. Remove Scotch Bonnet pepper.
Before we get to today’s recipes, the temperatures are FINALLY starting to cool. I actually wore a light jacket today. Here are some more soups to enjoy with the cooler temperatures!
- Beche de Pescado – Ecuadorian Fish Soup
- Chicken Wheatberry Soup
- Classic Lentil Soup
- Chickpea Okra Ground Provision Soup
- Gochujang Dak Juk – Korean Chicken Rice Soup
- Khao Soi – Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup
- Laotian Chicken Noodle Soup
- Pumpkin Shrimp Laksa
- Triple Corn Rasam
IN THE MAKING
This is a hearty and filling bowl of soup.
There is something about balls of dough simmered in a flavored broth that just elevates any soup!