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Black Bean Soup with Masa Dumplings

This healthy and delicious black bean soup with masa dumplings is a little bowl of heaven on earth. It is a quintessentially Mexican dish that’s warming and comforting. The tantalizing dumplings also known as chochoyotes are simmered to perfection in the flavorful bean broth. Thankfully it’s very easy to make and economical.

Black bean soup with masa dumplings in a white bowl.

Where does this dish originate from?

This hearty black bean soup with chochoyotes originates from Oaxaca, Mexico. However most regions have an iteration of the dish. Masa corn dumplings or chochoyotes date back to pre-hispanic times. They are also called bolitas de masa in Oaxaca, xoxolos in Veracruz and pibitos in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Masa dumplings come together quickly by hand. There is no special equipment needed.

If you cook authentic Mexican cuisine often you’ll find that most of the ingredients are pantry staples.

When it comes to making the chochoyotes I know many find it difficult to purchase fresh masa so I always use Maseca in my recipes.

Maseca is the most common brand of masa marina and is widely available in groceries. It works just as well as fresh masa.

If this is the first time you will be making these gnocchi like dumplings, there’s no need to worry. It’s very easy!

What are the ingredients?

The ingredient list is minimal when it comes to this Mexican black bean soup. The ingredients list includes:

  • black beans
  • onion
  • garlic cloves
  • bay leaves
  • morita peppers
  • masa harina
  • chicken bouillon
  • olive oil
  • hoja santa leaves
  • pork cracklins
  • water

How to make black bean soup with bolitas de masa

We start by making a batch of frijoles de olla – a pot of stewed beans.

Sort and rinse the dry black beans. Then put them in a pot with a bay leaf and cover with water.

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let it simmer for two hours or until the beans are tender.

Once the beans are tender, we can start making our soup.

Heat up a skillet over medium high heat and toast the Morita peppers.

Turn them over a few times, every few seconds. You don’t want these peppers to burn because they’ll turn bitter and it will ruin the whole soup.

When they start to release their aroma and change in color slightly that means they’re done.

toasting morita pepper

After toasting my peppers, I’m going to transfer them to my frijoles de olla so that they can soften in the hot broth.

Next we’re going to crush our pork rinds (or chicharrones). These pork cracklings are going to add flavor to our dumplings.

Pour half a bag of chicharrones into a large ziploc bag. Get all the air out and zip it close.

Then crush the chicharrones (I use my husbands Yeti tumbler) until they turn into fine crumbs.

Once completed, you should have roughly one cup of crushed pork cracklings.

Crushed chicharrones in a green measuring cup.

Transfer the softened Morita peppers into a blender along with 1 1⁄2 cup of cooked black beans and 2 cups bean broth.

Then we will add flavor to it by adding 3 teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder, and half a teaspoon of ground cumin. Blend until smooth and set aside.

You can definitely take out the cumin if you’re missing the ingredient or don’t like its strong taste. I however love its slightly sweet, nutty and earthy taste.

Making the masa dumpling dough

Now we can move on to making the masa dumplings. In a large bowl, combine the Maseca, chicken bouillon, and tablespoon of olive oil.

Next, we add our crumbled hoja Santa leaves.

Next add in our crushed pork cracklings. Once we have all of our ingredients in, we’re going to mix these all up by hand.

Ingredients for chochoyotes in a large bowl.

Continue mixing and kneading the dough and slowly add about one cup of water. You will want the dough to feel firm, slightly firmer than cookie batter but not dry.

If the dough is too dry, it has a tendency to crack and break apart. The dough should be just moist enough.

If the texture is a little bit dry, you can keep adding water, up to a third of a cup to moisten it up.

Test the texture of the masa dough by making a single dumpling. Does it feel crumbly to the touch? Add more water. Does it hold its shape and not too crumbly anymore? Then you’re on the right track. When you’re satisfied with that, cover with a kitchen towel and get back to working on the bean soup.

Flavoring the black bean soup

Heat up two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté diced onions until they start to turn nice and translucent. Season with salt.

Add in the garlic cloves using a garlic press. I prefer using a garlic press rather than mincing them to save time. Cook the onions and garlic together for about another minute or so to get their flavors out.

Next, we’ll add in our black bean mixture straight from the blender. Then we add the rest of our beans and broth.

Add little sprigs of epazoteEpazote is a fragrant herb traditionally paired with black beans. Then add in more water. In total we’re using 7 cups of water.

Cover, and leave this to cook on medium low heat while we move on to prepare our dumplings.

Making the chochoyotes

To make the chochoyotes or dumplings, grab a small amount of the dough and form it into a ball between the palms of your hands.

Poke a little hole into the top of it with your thumb. You want to make sure your dumplings are more or less the same size so they will cook evenly.

I made 26 masa dumplings. The exact amount you will make will depend on how big or small you make your dumplings.

26 bolitas de masa on a cutting board.

Why are masa dumplings so tasty?

In my opinion these masa dumplings are the best part of this black bean soup because they have so much flavor in them thanks to the crushed chicharroneshoja santa and chicken bouillon powder. Hoja santa is an aromatic miracle herb native to Central and southwestern North America.

Pork cracklings or chicharonnes are savory pork rinds with a little fat on the skin for a chewier and meatier crunch.

Now we add the dumplings into the pot of soup. Taste the broth and see how you like the flavor. If it needs more seasoning you can add either more chicken bouillon powder or salt. I prefer to use chicken bouillon, as it’s a ready-made flavor enhancer.

Bring the soup to a boil over medium high heat. Cover and let it summer on medium low for about 20 minutes or so. You’ll know it’s done because the dumplings will float to the surface.

Black bean soup with bolitas de masa in a pot.

This is a really delicious soup especially in the chilly fall and cold winter seasons Not only is it yummy but it’s also inexpensive to make.

If you want a less spicy version, use only one Morita pepper. To turn this into a vegan option, swap the pork cracklings with – avocado leaves, mint, cilantro, jalapeno, scallions, or leeks.

When you serve your family this black bean soup with masa dumplings, everyone will fight for an equal number of dumplings in their individual soup bowls. They’re really that tasty!

Nothing is wasted in this soup but if you do end up with too many left overs, as you eat and reheat it over several days, it will keep on tasting better and better.

Black bean dumpling soup in a pot.

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Looking for more delicious black bean recipes? Try these:

Black bean soup with dumplings recipe

This is one of my family’s favorite recipes. It’s filling, comforting and absolutely delicious. My favorite thing about it is that it’s very economical. I hope you will give it a try and I hope you will like it as much as we do! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this soup in the comments below. And don’t forget to leave it a rating. Thanks for visiting!

Black bean soup with chochoyotes in a white bowl.
Black bean soup with chochoyotes in a white bowl.
5 from 1 vote
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Black Bean Soup with Masa Dumplings

This black bean soup with masa dumplings or bolitas de masa is a delicious and inexpensive Mexican soup that's perfect for the chilly fall and winter seasons.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword black bean soup with bolitas de masa, black bean soup with masa dumplings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 307 kcal
Author Carissa

Ingredients

For the beans

  • 1 1/2 cup dry black beans
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 morita peppers
  • 3 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 sprigs dried epazote
  • 14 cups water
  • 2 tbs olive oil

For the masa dumplings

  • 2 cups Maseca
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 crumbled hoja santa leaves
  • 1 cup crushed pork cracklings
  • 1 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  1. Sort and rinse the dry black beans. Put them in a pot along with the bay leaves and cover with 7 cups of water.

  2. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let it simmer for two hours or until the beans are tender.

  3. Now that the beans are tender heat up a skillet over medium high heat and toast the Morita peppers on both sides. This will take less than a minute.

  4. Transfer the toasted peppers to the pot of beans to soften in the hot broth.

  5. Crush enough pork cracklings to get 1 cup of crushed pork cracklings.

  6. Transfer the softened morita peppers to a blender along with 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans and 2 cups of bean broth. Add the chicken bouillon powder and ground cumin. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

  7. In a large bowl combine the Maseca, chicken bouillon and 1 tbs of olive oil. Next add the crumbled hoja santa leaves. Then add the crushed pork cracklings. Mix with your hands until well combined.

  8. Continue to mix and knead the dough while slowly adding the water. The texture of the dough should be firm and moist. Not too wet and not too dry.

  9. Heat up two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté diced onion until they start to turn nice and translucent. Season with salt.

  10. Add in the garlic cloves using a garlic press. Cook the onions and garlic together for about another minute or so to get their flavors out.

  11. Next add the blended black bean mixture. Then add the rest of the beans and broth to the pot. Add the epazote along with the remaining 7 cups of water. Cover and cook on medium low heat.

  12. To make dumplings, grab a small amount of the dough and form it into a ball between the palms of your hands.

  13. Poke a little hole into the top of it with your thumb. You want to make sure your dumplings are more or less the same size so they will cook evenly. You should have around 26 dumplings.

  14. Now add the dumplings to the pot of soup. Taste the broth for salt and add some if needed.

  15. Bring the soup to a boil over medium high heat. Cover and let it simmer on medium low for about 20 minutes or so. The soup is done when the dumplings float to the surface.

  16. Serve and enjoy.

  17. Once the soup cools transfer it to a bowl with a tight fitting lid and store in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Recipe Notes

For a less spicy soup use just one morita pepper or omit them completely.

Nutrition Facts
Black Bean Soup with Masa Dumplings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 307 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 105mg5%
Potassium 635mg18%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 22IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 109mg11%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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