Traditional Trinidad Corn Soup

February 21, 2017
This warm and flavorful soup is perfect for the cold and warm weather.

Packed full of flavor from the sweet corn to the succulent dumplings and a little bit of pepper.

Large pot of corn soup with a small bowl of corn soup and the cover laid on the side

Can you imagine that it's almost the end of February already? We are about to head into the 3rd month of the year, ALREADY!!

It's also Carnival time in Trinidad and Tobago. Dubbed the Greatest Show in the World and I can honestly say it is definitely an experience worth having.

But I am not in the land of oil and water celebrating this year. Instead, I'm sharing with you one of the many popular foods from my country, especially around this time.

Corn soup is ram-packed with split peas, corn, dumplings, provisions, and the flavors are thick and heavy... and delicious.

It's the perfect "pick up" after a night of feteing, drinking, and dancing the night (or day) away. 

Now like most recipes for soups especially, there's no HARD rules for making this. So many variations on what can be used to make the base, but it MUST have corn.

For me, it also MUST also have dumplings.

It can be regular dumplings, whole wheat dumplings, cassava dumplings or even cornmeal dumplings.

I can do with just those two things alone as the main stars but don't be scared to find plantains, sweet potato, tania, Idaho potatoes cassava, or even pigtails in corn soup.

Ears of husked corn on a cutting board to be cut up for soup

How to make Trinidad style corn soup

This soup requires a little TLC but it's not hard to make.

The main part of this soup is the base. It's this well-flavored base that makes everything taste great.

For my base, you must have
- Corn
- Split peas
- Broth (or you can use water replacement but make sure you extra season it up. I use broth as a great shortcut)
and the additional seasonings of garlic, celery, onions

And since I like some good food in my soup besides core, the additional things would be
- Bell peppers
- Tania (or some potato)
- Carrot
- Dumplings (this is actually a must-have for me)
- Pepper

a bowl of corn soup with ready to be eaten

Some like it spicy, some don't.

I've had some corn soups where I'm sniffing till the end. Pepper for so. If you need your sinuses cleared up, it was the perfect thing.

The flavors need to blend and merge and simmer together to get that deep flavor. It's that base that makes the soup so delicious.

A close up of a bowl of corn soup

Tricks and tips

This can be made ahead by a few hours and just kept on a warm heat till ready to serve.

Keep your eye on it as depending on what provisions you use it can thicken up. So as it sits it will get too thick. Just add water.

This makes a big batch. If it's a small, not greedy group you can easily half this recipe.

If you happen to have leftovers you can easily warm this up the next day. You can do it on the stovetop on medium heat and let it come to a simmer till warmed through.

You can freeze leftovers also. Place in an airtight freezer container. When ready to use, bring to room temperature then add to a pot on the stove. Add water as needed since it sometimes gets thicker after freezing.

a piece of corn on top of a bowl of corn soup

When you order this soup from a street-side vendor (or at a party), they give it to you in a nice Styrofoam cup. Hot and piping.

Just holding the warm cup and the aroma of the soup excites you.

Honestly, I think that the soup tastes most amazing when in the cup, haha, but that might just be the "too much alcohol" talking in that situation.

Carrot, corn, dumplings sweet potato. Can you really go wrong here?

How can you not want this?

Give me corn. Big, big chunks of sweet corn.

Check out some other popular Carnival foods:

Trinidad Corn Soup Recipe

Soups, corn soup, Trini Soup
Trinidad, Caribbean
Yield: Serves 6 - 9
Author: Renz @ HomeMadeZagat

Trinidad Corn Soup

Trinidad Corn Soup

A traditional corn soup recipe for this popular Trini street food. Made with split peas, corn and dumplings this soup is commonly an after fete snack especially around carnival time
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 50 Mtotal time: 65 M


  • 6 ears of fresh corn
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into discs
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 2/3 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • Pepper sauce (to taste)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (make your own)
  • 1 med tania (or sweet potato), diced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cups stock + 1 cup stock
  • 3 cups water + 3 cups water
  • 2 leaves shado beni, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
For Dumplings
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water


How to cook Trinidad Corn Soup

  1. Cut 5 ears of corn into about 2-inch pieces and set aside.
  2. Shave off corn kernels off of the remaining corn cob
  3. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, over med-high heat.
  4. Add onions, garlic, and celery to oil and saute till onions are opaque.
  5. Add split peas and shaved corn and stir well
  6. Add thyme to the pot and saute another 2 minutes
  7. Add 3 cups water, 2 cups stock, tania and shado beni to the pot, and bring to boil.
  8. Lower stove to a low boil until split peas is cooked (about 30 minutes) Note: add more water if split peas is not soft enough and more boil time is needed
  9. Once split peas are softened, use the back of a spoon to mash them up a bit.
  10. Add coconut milk, scotch bonnet pepper, and 3 cups water and bring to a slow boil
  11. Make dumplings at this point and break into balls or roll into logs
  12. Add corn discs, dumplings, carrots, and bell peppers to the pot
  13. Add salt and pepper and pepper sauce to taste
  14. Boil until dumplings are cooked (about 15 minutes)
For Dumplings
  1. Knead water and flour together
  2. Shape into balls

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Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.