This is one of my most treasured recipes, and one that my stepdaughter asks me to make for her when she wants a special treat. Buttery corn dumplings top clove-scented vegetables to make this a wonderfully fragrant and colorful stew. The dumplings take only a few minutes to prepare, so don’t be dissuaded by their inclusion.

SERVES 6 AS A MAIN COURSE

Вј cup olive oil

3 medium onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

4 whole cloves

Вј teaspoon cayenne pepper

10 cups Vegetable Stock

1ВЅ teaspoons salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

28-ounce can diced tomatoes

Вѕ cup minced fresh parsley

3 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ВЅ-inch dice

12-ounce box frozen baby lima beans

2 cups corn, fresh or frozen (10-ounce package)

3 tablespoons butter

DUMPLINGS

Вѕ cup unbleached white flour

Вј cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

ВЅ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon chilled butter

ВЅ cup corn, thawed if frozen

в…” cup cold milk

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and saut the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, cloves, and cayenne pepper, and saut for 1 more minute.
  2. Add the vegetable stock, salt, pepper, tomatoes, ВЅ cup of the parsley, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and lima beans and cook 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the dumplings. Combine the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl, and mix well. Cut in the butter until small crumbs are formed, then stir in the ВЅ cup corn and milk just until evenly moistened. Do not overmix. Cover and chill until ready to use. (The chilled batter will keep up to 24 hours.)
  4. Add the 2 cups corn, 3 tablespoons of butter, and remaining Вј cup of parsley to the stew, and cook 10 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves. May be prepared to this point up to 24 hours in advance, covered, and chilled. Reheat to boiling before proceeding with the next step.
  5. Keeping the soup at a simmer, drop the dumpling mixture in by tablespoonfuls and cover the pot. (You’ll get 6 to 8 dumplings.) Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a dumpling comes out clean. Serve the stew with 1 dumpling to each bowl.