We've adapted a recipe for this Caribbean soup from Ursala Krigger, a home cook from the island of St. Thomas. This dish is a staple at all her holiday parties.
For the Soup
- 1 pig's knuckle, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 lb. dried red peas or dried pink beans, soaked 4 hours or overnight
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and thickly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Dumplings
- 1 cup flour
- 1⁄4 cup white cornmeal
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. butter
For the soup: Soak pig's knuckles in a bowl of cold water, changing water every few hours until it remains clear, 8 hours or overnight. Drain again; then put into a large pot. Drain peas, and add to pot. Add onions, celery, garlic, thyme, and 12 cups water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, skimming any foam, until peas are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper, and continue simmering, partially covered, until peas are very tender, about 1 hour more.
For the dumplings: Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in butter; then add up to 6 tbsp. ice water, and stir with a fork to make a stiff dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth. Roll out dough to a ¼'' thickness; then cut into about 2'' squares. Add dumplings to soup, and simmer until tender and soup is thick, about 40 minutes.