Recipe for Azafran Soup With Spinach Greens & Yellow Cornmeal Dumpli


1 cup ground yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
2 cup chicken stock
6 cup water
2 tablespoon azafran (see note)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 cup chicken stock
2 yellow summer squash, diced
3 cup corn kernels
1 bunch spinach, washed and stemmed


To make the dumplings, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and milk and mix well to make a batter that is moist but not sticky. If the dough is too moist, knead in a little more flour. Divide the dough into 1" balls, flatten, and shape into small triangles.

Pour the chicken stock into a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and drop in the dumplings. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until tender and cooked all the way through. Remove the dumplings from the stock and set aside.

For the soup, heat 2 cups of the water and the azafran in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the liquid has reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve, discard the azafran, and return the liquid to the saucepan. Add salt, pepper, stock, and the remaining 4 cups of the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add squash, reduce the heat ans simmer 5 minutes. Add cork kernels and simmer another 5 minutes. Add dumplings and spinach, cook 2 minutes, and serve immediately.

**Note** Azafran, also called Native American saffron my the American Indians, is an herb that is actually fine threads from the stigma of the safflower plant. Despite the name, azafran is not the same as saffron, which is an expensive spice derived from the crocus plant in the iris family. (Saffron can be substituted for azafran, though: use 1 pinch of saffran for 2 tablespoons of azafran).

Azafran is commonly sold in Latin American markets and specialty herb stores. It can also be ordered by mail. It is best stored in a cool dark place and will last several months in a sealed plastic or glass container.

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