A hearty and flavorful Mexican-inspired soup with corn masa dumplings, chochoyotes. In this recipe, we provide for more traditional presentation and also Tex-Mex.
This recipe for Chochoyotes (Masa Dumpling Soup), as these dumplings are called in Mexico, was kind of inspired by my craving for tamales. There is nothing I enjoy more than a steaming plate of freshly cooked hot tamales with warm salsa on top. But, that may not always be easy to prepare without some planning! It was also a way of introducing tamal flavors to some of my friends that had not yet tried them. I combined a variation of my Tex-Mex enchilada sauce recipe and prepared it as a soup base by adding a lot more chicken broth. And by using the masa harina as a thickener, besides adding a nice corn flavor, the recipe is gluten-free. The chochoyotes are delicious in a salsa verde-based soup as well.
Add dry ingredients to a large bowl. Mix the olive oil into the hot water and gradually add in to the dry ingredients until dough forms. If it seems too dry, add a little more hot water. Roll into a log form and cover with plastic wrap, set aside.
To shape chochoyotes, slice a 1-inch section of masa off. Keep the unused masa covered. On the cutting board use your hands to roll masa in the shape of a cigar. Wetting your hands help make the rolling out easier. With a knife slice 1/2 inch pieces. Use your finger or thumb to make an indentation in masa and form into a little cup. Transfer to a plate and cover with plastic wrap until ready to add to soup.
For the Soup Base
In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeño, chayote, carrots and celery. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
To the soup, add in all of the remaining ingredients, minus the masa harina. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Turn heat to a low simmer. While the soup is simmering, mix the 2 tablespoons of masa harina with just enough warm water to make a smooth slurry. Mix this into the simmering soup while you stir. Reduce heat slightly.
Gently drop the dumplings, chochoyotes into the simmering soup. When done, turn heat up slightly on soup so it’s at a light boil. Make sure the dumplings are immersed into the broth. Gently stir to move them around and continue cooking for 20 minutes. When ready to serve, add some of the cooked chicken and shredded cheese to the bottom of bowls and ladle soup with dumplings over the top. Garnish with lettuce, crumbled cheese, salsa, crema, thinly sliced onions and lime.
The first day we enjoyed the soup with a more traditional Mexican garnish of lettuce, cotija cheese, crema, thin-sliced onion and jalapeño salsa (pictured here). On the second day we went for a more Tex-Mex garnish (as pictured in main photo) with jack cheese, fritos, green onions, red jalapeño and cilantro. Delicious!
These masa dumplings can be added to most any soup or stew providing there is enough broth for them to cook in properly.