So I’ll hang around as long as you will let me…eat Mixed-Greens and Sausage Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

Melissa Clark’s January recipe in Bon Appétit didn’t say anything at all about mama or trains or trucks or prison or getting drunk. But it did include the three basic Southern food groups of greens, corn meal and sausages. After reading it I realized that Melissa Clark had written the perfect country and western recipe. And I felt obliged to include it on this blog. The recipe goes something like this here:

You Don’t Have to Call me Darlin, Darlin Soup

Adapted (almost not at all) from epicurious.com

Dumplings:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (Pulse them a few times in the food processor.)

Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion..or 1 large onion
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper (optional)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo (sold in cans)(optional)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pound sausage (Epicurious recommends andouille sausage but I used what I had in the freezer–a combination of pork hot Italian sausage and turkey kielbasa–with excellent results.)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 12-ounce bag mixed turnip, mustard, and collard greens, any thick stems cut away (about 12 cups packed) (Yes, I have discovered that greens come pre-cleaned in bags or boxes these days. They even have them–sometimes–at my Yankee, lily white neighborhood Safeway because the Whole Foods crowd has discovered that they’re one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Amazing.)

Make dumplings. (NOTE: THIS BATTER NEEDS TO SIT FOR 1-2 HRS SO YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER MAKING THE DUMPLINGS THE NIGHT OR MORNING BEFORE)

Combine first 5 ingredients. Stir in milk and butter, then green onions. Let batter stand at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. This  wait time is VERY important, according to website comments from disappointed users who said their dumplings didn’t work out. Using wet hands, shape mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, into about 20 dumplings, arranging on a baking sheet or platter covered with plastic, foil or a Silpat. They’re ready to add to the soup or to be stored in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap or foil, for up to one day.

Make the soup:

Heat oil in BIG pot over medium heat. (Greens take up a huge amount of room for the first minute or two you add them although they very quickly cook down.) Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, hot peppers and thyme. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add sausage; cook 3  and 1/2 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes with juice, hot sauce, and allspice; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Add greens. Cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drop in dumplings. Cover and cook 20 to 25 minutes on low. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This is a BIG batch. It makes about 6 servings. Fortunately, it’s one of those recipes that gets even better as a leftover. And if someone else eats the last bite before you do..It might be all that you can do to keep from cryin’…

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One Response to So I’ll hang around as long as you will let me…eat Mixed-Greens and Sausage Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

  1. Alan Bunce says:

    I like both kinds of food — country and western.

    (In case any reader doesn’t get the reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSZfUnCK5qk)

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