Trinidad Corn Soup

I love how so many things in life just seem to work out. I have to admit, when I signed up for Adopt-A-Blogger #4 I was a little skeptical. After all, how do I qualify as a mentor? Yeah, I’ve been doing this for over a year, but I’d hardly call myself a blogging pro. What would I have to contribute? What if the adoptee thought I was lame?

But of course, I worried excessively for absolutely NO reason, because I was matched with Wizzy of Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Punch. Not only are her pictures gorgeous and her writing witty and eloquent, but her recipes are unique and she lives in Trinidad! Since I’ve never been to or eaten food from the Caribbean (except for a Cuban restaurant years ago), it was pretty much a perfect match. Of course, I feel like I’m learning far more from her than I am offering in return, but I’ve been loving our emails back and forth.

I will undoubtedly make quite a few recipes off her site, but this one caught my eye immediately because Mike has been dying to go to Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago since before I knew him. You should probably take a look at her pictures because they are much better than mine, but trust me, this soup is fantastic. The yellow split peas make it thick and hearty, and how can anyone turn down dumplings and sweet corn?

Recipe:
(adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Punch)

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup chives, chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 cup yellow split peas
8 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, left whole
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, diced
6 ears corn, cut into 2inch pieces
8 dumplings
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
black pepper

Dumplings:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
whole milk

Heat the oil in a large, heavy soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Add the celery, thyme and chives and cook an additional five minutes.

Stir in the stock and split peas. Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer partially covered for about 55 minutes, or until the split peas are very tender. Puree with an immersion blender. Add the habanero, potatoes, carrots, and corn and simmer for another 20 minutes, until potato is soft. Stir in the cilantro. If the soup is too thick, stir in a little water until it has a desired consistency.

While the soup is simmering, make the dumplings: Toss the flour, salt, and
cayenne together, then gradually stir in enough milk to make a stiff dough. Knead until smooth, then roll into a thin log and cut in 1″ lengths. Drop them into the soup after the potatoes are cooked through, and wait until they rise to the surface.

Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

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