Recipe: Tchaka soup (Haiti)

This Haitian recipe for tchaka soup includes dried corn, red beans and a host of other flavors reminiscent of seeds brought to the island from Africa during the slave trade.


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  • 1-12 ounce bag of dried corn
  • 1-12 ounce bag of small red kidney or pinto beans
  • 1 1/2 pounds salt-cured pork feet or smoked turkey
  • 1 pound of calabaza or kabocha squash, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 chayote, peeled and cubed or sliced
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thyme and other green seasonings
  • 1 packet of chicken bouillion
  • 1 Habanero or scotch bonnet pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil the beans and the corn in separate stock pots using unsalted water for 1 1/2 to two hours.
  • In a separate saucepan, add water to the smoked meat until it comes to a full boil and then drain.
  • Combine the beans and corn with their remaining cooking liquid into one pot and add the smoked meat.
  • Add the coconut milk and when it all comes to a boil, add the garlic, chicken bouillion, thyme, other green seasonings and the pepper.
  • Let simmer until the desired thickness is achieved. Serve hot as a main dish.
  • Enjoy!

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