Here on the island of San Andres, Colombia surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean, fish is an obvious staple food item and is prepared a number of ways, one of the most popular dishes being Rondon Soup. Rondon is a traditional Caribbean dish that gets its name from the phrase, “Rundown,” as in, the cook of the home prepares a soup with whatever they were able to track down or forage that day, whether it was in the backyard, a neighbors coconut tree, or the bounty of the sea. For this reason, there are many variations on the dish, there can be no wrongs. Here’s the recipe for Rondon Soup as we prepared it this past Viernes (friday).
First we boiled pig tails and feet in water for around an hour, over an open fire, to add some extra flavor to the soup.
Next Emildo cracked open 4 coconuts, which Peter then grated into a clean soup pan. We added water and let soak for 10 minutes. Soon following, the shredded coconut was sifted out and the extra juice pressed back into the pan. Alas we had our coconut milk, which we put on the fire.
Once the coconut milk began to simmer, we added our vegetables, sliced yuca, peeled potato, plantains, and chiquitas (mini bananas), onions, garlic, and left the soup to boil. We also added our poultry seasoning called Maggi.
Emildo then started to make the dumplings by kneading flour salt and pepper together. He then rolled the dough into individual balls, and later flattened them in his hands and draped them over the top of the boiling soup.
Meanwhile Peter descaled the fresh fish, yellowtail and red snapper, and scored the the width of the body on both sides to help them cook more quickly. (Notice we used WHOLE fish!!!) We also had a piece of tuna and barracuda already filleted.
The fish was then added to the boiling pot along with the pork and some basil. It was left to finish cooking for around 30 minutes and served as is. What a treat! It was the most delicious fish stew I have ever had without a doubt!