I discovered this soup on the streets of Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad, while I was sailing around the Caribbean. I’ve wanted to make this soup myself ever since then, and now that it’s corn season, I was able to! No-one will believe that this soup is vegan.
The food of Trinidad is a delicious blend of East Indian and Afro-Carribbean influences, taking advantage of local vegetables and a range of hot spices. The range of vegan street food in Port of Spain is fantastic and it’s tough to beat being able to wash food down with fresh coconut milk drunk straight from the coconut, and then eating the coconut afterwards.
8 to 10 full portions
6 corn on the cob, shucked
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 cups onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cups carrot, diced
1 cup lentils
1 scotch bonnet pepper, diced for spicy, whole for a milder soup (Use the type of hot pepper you prefer. I used habanero)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. thyme
3 cups sweet potato, cubed
5 cups boiling potatoes, cubed (I used Michigan White)
5 cups pumpkin, skinned & cubed
4 cups vegetable stock (I used Knorr Homestyle Vegetable Stock)
4 cups water
1 can coconut milk
- Bring water to a boil in a pot large enough for 3 cobs of corn.
- While waiting for the water to boil, chop the vegetables as described.
- When the water has come to a boil, put the 3 cobs of corn in for 2 minutes.
- Remove cobs from water and allow them to cool while you continue to prep your veggies.
- Chop the uncooked cobs of corn into 1 inch slices.
- Cut the kernels from the cooked cobs.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
- Add the chopped onion and cook until the onions are translucent, around 5 minutes.
- Add the finely minced garlic, celery, carrots, hot pepper and a pinch of salt and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining vegetables, except for the 1″ corn on the cob sections and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth, water, coconut milk, spices and lentils and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
- Cover and reduce heat to low to simmer until the vegetables are tender and lentils are cooked, around 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If you’re going for a milder soup and had put the hot pepper in whole in step 9, remove it now.
- Purée soup to desired consistency with an immersion blender.
- Add the 1 inch sections of corn on the cob and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
My vegan Trini corn soup will help you stay warm on a brisk fall night. Try serving it with naan bread or chapati to make it a full Trini experience. You can refrigerate the soup for up to a week, if you have left! I like to freeze individual portions as an easy and healthy work lunch.