“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.  For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.”Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)

The first time I had this soup, it was a revelation. I was visiting Trinidad for the first time for Carnival. After many sleepless nights of revelry and feting as they say, Corn Soup on the Savannah the main party thorough fare was a gourmet blessing. It also was a welcome addition to Roti, Doubles, and other Trini street food. 

Although from Trinidad, this soup takes advantage of the fall produce of New England to make a global local smoldering pot of goodness. Use local onions, garlic, potatoes, butternut squash which mimics the Caribbean’s calabaza squash, peppers, chives, thyme, and cilantro which are all still plentiful at the farmers market.

Serves six to eight

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound smoked pork or turkey neck bones (optional)

1 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 pound butternut squash, peeled and quartered

2 carrots, diced

1/3 cup chopped chives

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/8 cup fresh thyme, chopped

2 red peppers, chopped and seeded

3/4 cup yellow split peas, washed and picked over

8 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

6 ears corn, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 hot pepper

1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)

1/2 cup chopped chadon beni or cilantro

Salt and Pepper to taste 

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat oil and add onions and garlic. Sauté until fragrant. Add smoked bones, potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, chives, celery, thyme, and red peppers. Cook for about five minutes more. Add split peas and broth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Add hot pepper and coconut milk. Cover and simmer for about an hour until peas are soft. Puree soup to a thick and creamy consistency. This step is optional if you want a chunky soup. Return to pot. Add corn and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes until cooked Add chadon beni or cilantro. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. If soup seems too thick you can add a little water. Add salt and pepper to taste.