Crema de Frijol con Chochoyotes

April 23, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This recipe for crema de frijol con chochoyotes, a creamy bean soup with masa dumplings, incorporates every single one of my Mexican-American pantry staples. The soup starts with an easy sofrito of diced celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic sautéed in olive oil until softened and aromatic. To this, I add black beans (precooked or canned!) and blend everything into a smooth soup base. For richness, I stir in crema mexicana. While the soup is working, I like to make chochoyotes, tender Mexican corn masa dumplings with a crater poked in the center, as a main topping. The soup gets finished with crispy chorizo, a drizzle of more crema mexicana, and crumbled queso cotija for a hearty, comforting meal. —Esteban Castillo

What You'll Need
  • Chochoyotes
  • 1 3/4 cups masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal; if you use Morton, use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Crema de Frijol
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, finely diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 10 ounces fresh chorizo (or longaniza), casing removed
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans (about 3 cups), drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup crema mexicana
  • Kosher salt
  • Crumbled queso cotija, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  1. Chochoyotes
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the masa harina and kosher salt. Work in the shortening with your fingertips until it’s fully incorporated. Add the water and continue to mix with your hands until combined.
  3. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough, rolling it very well in between your hands to make a smooth ball. Use your thumb to make a crater in the center halfway through each ball (this will help the dumplings cook evenly). Place the chochoyotes on a sheet pan and cover each ball with a damp, clean kitchen towel after forming. You should have about 25. Set aside, covered, while you make the soup.
  4. Fill a large, wide saucepan with a few inches of water and bring it to a simmer while the soup cooks. (You can use a large Dutch oven to cook the dumplings in bigger batches; a large, wide saucepan, cooking half at a time; or a small saucepan to cook them in smaller batches.)
  5. When ready to cook (make them while the soup is simmering), turn down the heat on the pot of water to make sure the water is just below a simmer. Gently add the chochoyotes (all in one batch if your pot is at least 6 quarts) and poach undisturbed for 20 minutes, until they’re tender and cooked through. (Chochoyotes will disintegrate if the flame is too high or the water is aggressively simmering.) Scoop out a chochoyote, cut it open, and taste to check for doneness (the dumpling should feel soft and creamy on the outside but firm inside).
  6. Immediately serve the chochoyotes on bowls of the crema de frijol.
  1. Crema de Frijol
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or stockpot, then add the celery, pepper, chile, and onion. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened. Mix in the garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Place the chorizo in a dry sauté pan over medium heat, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to break it into smaller pieces. Cook until crisped, 10 to 12 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the chorizo to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard any fat left in the pan.
  4. Add the black beans and stock to the vegetable mixture in the Dutch oven and bring the soup to a simmer over medium-low heat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. While the soup simmers, poach the chochoyotes.
  5. Use an immersion blender (or let cool slightly, then transfer the soup to an upright blender) to blend the soup to your desired consistency (I like it completely smooth). Stir in the crema and season with salt to taste.
  6. Serve bowls of soup topped with a few chochoyotes, a few tablespoons of reserved crispy chorizo, a drizzle of crema mexicana, crumbled queso cotija, and chopped cilantro.

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1 Review

Emily |. May 6, 2021
The base of this soup was fantastic but the dumplings didn’t turn out. I made them exactly as written & they did not form smooth balls, and instead were rather crumbly and proceeded to dissolve in the cooking water. I just crumbled blue corn tortilla chips in my soup along with the other suggested toppings but interested to hear how others would troubleshoot the dumpling issue.