Pigeon Pea Soup with Green Banana Dumplings

(Sopa de Gandules con Bollos de Banana)

For the soup

  • 1 pound pigeon peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 pound smoked pork neck bones or turkey wings
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small (about 10 ounces) celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 3 carrots, trimmed, and cut into ½ inch slices
  • ½ cup Sofrito
  • Fine sea or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

For the dumplings

  • 4 green bananas , trimmed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Achiote Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Makes 6-8 Servings

Rinse the pigeon peas in a colander under cold water. Drain and put in a heavy 5 to 6-quart pot. Add the water, neck bones, and bay leaves and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat so the liquid is at a soft bubble. Cook, skimming off any foam that rises to the top, 30 minutes.

Stir the celery root, carrots, and sofrito into the pot. Bring back to a simmer, cover, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings: Grate the green bananas with a hand grater using the finest side of a box grater. Stir the cilantro, salt, achiote oil, and pepper into the batter, working quickly so that the batter does not darken.

Slide tablespoons of batter gently onto the surface of the soup. Make sure that the heat is super low—a bubble coming up to the top here and there—or your dumplings will break apart. Partially cover the pot again and cook until the dumplings are firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Ladle one out and check that it is cooked through.

To serve, scoop two dumplings into a shallow bowl, and ladle soup around them.


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