Collards and Potato Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

November 15, 2010

This recipe was inspired by the traditional kale and potato soup, and because I seem to be unable to have collards without some form of cornmeal nearby, I threw in cornmeal dumplings.

The result is a hearty and warm collards soup enhanced by cornmeal dumplings. The recipe for the cornmeal dumplings comes from recently released Southern Foodways Alliance Cookbook and is a shared family recipe because “[he] witnessed the popularity of cornmeal dumplings wane in his lifetime.”

Well, here’s bringing them back!

collard and potato soup with corn dumplings

For the soup:
one onion, halved and sliced
4-5 medium yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 bunches collards, de-stemmed and torn in manageable sizes, from Lil Farm
1-2 tb butter
1-2 tb olive oil
leftover sneaky collards stock (I had about a quart), but you can use water or stock of your choice
salt and pepper to taste

for cornmeal dumplings:
1 cup finely ground cornmeal, grits or polenta style, from Brinkley Farms
1 tb all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
leftover sneaky collards stock or the potlikker from the above soup or water

Heat oil and butter in a heavy bottomed pan under high heat. Add onions, and caramelize them by cooking until you have a nice brown surface on the bottom of the pot of when the onions look brown (but not burnt). The trick is to keep turning so they don’t burn.

After the onions are caramellized, add a little bit of stock (I had leftover sneaky collards stock on hand) and scrape the bottom to get the brown bits. Then add rest of stock, an equal amount of water, and potatoes. Bring to a boil then simmer. Add collards, one handful at at time, submerging them to make them soft. When they are all added, cover and cook for 30-45 minutes, until potatoes are soft and collards are silky smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Do not turn off heat yet.

in the meantime, make corn dumplings. Mix cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper, then add just enough liquid to form a paste (it should not be too wet- if you’ve made matzoh balls you’ll understand this). When your soup is ready, wet your hands and form a small ball (about 2″ in diameter) and place in soup (the dumplings should float on top). When all dumplings are in the soup (you should use all of the dough), cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Serve with a roughly equal amount of dumplings per bowl, or your partner will try to steal yours. The soup is also excellent with some fried vegan sausages on the side.

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