Recipe/ Soup & Salad

Trinidad Callaloo Soup

Try your hand at Caribbean cuisine, make this Trinidad Callaloo. It’s a must for a true Trini Sunday lunch.

trinidad callaloo soup

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 Before I say anything I need to clarify a few words for my non-Trinidadian readers.

Callaloo (noun) – a thick green soup made from dasheen leaves, ochroes & coconut milk

Trini (noun) – a person from Trinidad

Posse (noun) – your crew, your hommies, a group of friends

Lime (noun) – a gathering, get together

Soca – local music of Trinidad & Tobago

Now back to our regularly scheduled program…..When I lived in Hungary I was part of a Trini posse. A group of 5 Trinidadians together with our Hungarian spouses and offspring. Every once in a while we would come together for a Trini lime. To celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and just to be Trini. It’s amazing how we even found each other in Budapest, a city of 1.7 million but we did. Of course, as with any Trini lime there was always lots of food. Each Trini had their specialty that they would bring to the table and even though we wouldn’t always meet on a Sunday all the usual suspects of a typical Trini Sunday lunch were present. Stewed chicken, vegetable fried rice, macaroni pie, red beans, macaroni salad and of course callaloo. My contribution was always the callaloo and it was an absolute joy to prepare it for my friends. I would crank up some soca and dance my cares away as the sweet smell of ‘home’ filled my kitchen.

trinidad callaloo soup

I would no longer partake in one or two of those dishes today but my mouth is watering just thinking about the spread. Isn’t it amazing how some foods, usually those with a strong emotional connection can conjure up strong feelings?

This callaloo is a bit ‘different’. It isn’t made with dasheen leaves. My hubby suggested I call it spinalloo instead of callaloo but that just sounds wrong. Sorry hubby, callaloo soup it is. I have substituted dasheen leaves with spinach. I did not have access to dasheen leaves in Hungary and neither do I here in Spain. I am becoming infamous for substitutions now I guess. Exhibit A – Mushroom Cottage Cheese Carbonara. Callaloo is such a healthy dish, full of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.

trinidad callaloo soup

If you have no access to dasheen leaves have no fear, try this version. It tastes the same and no-one, not even true Trinis will know your secret.

Really, true talk.

Here’s to cultural traditions and good food!

A question for fellow expats – How do you maintain cultural traditions?

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Recipe adapted from The Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago & the Caribbean

Trinidad Callaloo Soup
  • 2 packets (1 pound / 454 g) frozen spinach
  • 8 ochroes
  • 415g/1 pound butternut squash peeled
  • 1 onion
  • 4 stalks spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 cups / 470ml coconut milk
  • 2 cups / 470ml hot water
  • salt
  • black pepper
  1. Wash and cut all vegetables into bite sized pieces.
  2. Put all ingredients into a large pot.
  3. Bring to the boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until everything is soft and cooked.
  4. Blitz in a blender until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

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  • Reply
    March 13, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Love Caribbean food! This looks and sounds delish.

    • Reply
      March 13, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks Angie! Hope you get to try it sometime.. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    This looks incredible!! I’m excited to try this before the weather warms up entirely. I love Caribbean food!!

    • Reply
      March 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Thank you Kelly! I hope you like it.. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 16, 2015 at 5:56 am

    I use half spinach and half kale in mine and a handful of shredded cheese to give it a meaty flavor when I’m out of Maggie Season-up.

    • Reply
      January 16, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Thanks Lani! Kale sounds great. Unfortunately, no access to kale either. I’d stick with a bit of cheese over the Maggie permanently. I avoid all powdered seasoning, usually 1st ingredient = salt, 2nd ingredient = sodium… 🙁

  • Reply
    January 15, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Awww. Brings back such happy memories! I will always remember you pointing me in the direction of the substitutes. When next y’all coming to BP for an encore? Keep these recipes coming! They are fabulicious!!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you Maria! Those were some good days indeed..:) Any new posse members?

  • Reply
    January 15, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Ok, so where did you get okra in Budapest? As soon as I have that ingredient, I am making this! Another beautiful post, Krystal. Thanks!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      Thank you Rita! I could usually find okra in the frozen section at the Arab & African shops.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    You brought back some good memories 😀 Your Trini Posse is missing you 🙁 And the callaloo 😀

    • Reply
      January 15, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      Thank you Soja! We miss you too.. 🙁 Now anyone of you can contribute with the callaloo, no excuses! Who will it be?

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