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Azafran Soup with Spinach Greens & Yellow Cornmeal Dumpli

1 c ground yellow cornmeal
3/4 c all purpose flour
2 ts baking powder
1 ts salt
1 ts white pepper
2 1/2 ts sugar
1 ts unsalted butter, softened
2 c chicken stock

6 c water
2 tb azafran (see note)
1 ts salt
1/2 ts white pepper
3 c chicken stock
2 yellow summer squash, diced
3 c 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 saffron 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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