Go Back

Pinto Bean Soup with Cornmeal and White Cheddar Dumplings

This vegetarian Mexican-inspired Pinto Bean Soup with Cornmeal White Cheddar Dumplings is for anyone who loves dumplings in their soup but wishes there were other options besides the traditional chicken and dumplings.


For the soup:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • 1 4 oz can of diced green chilis
  • 1 15 oz can of diced fired roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 15 oz cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp salt

For the dumplings:

  • 2/3 cup Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (+ more for topping)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Topping options:

  • sour cream
  • lime wedges
  • thinly sliced radishes
  • chopped cilantro leaves
  • tortilla chips
  • halved cherry tomatoes


For the soup:

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Then add the ground cumin and smoked paprika and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.

  2. Set aside 1/2 cup of the pinto beans. Pour the whole can of chilis (including all the juices in the can) into the pan to deglaze it and then add the fire roasted tomatoes, 2 cups vegetable broth, the remaining pinto beans, and 1 tsp salt. Turn heat to high to bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for 25 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, make the dumplings by whisk toghether the flour, cornmeal, cheddar cheese, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add in the milk and 1 Tbsp olive oil and whisk until a thick dough has formed and no dry ingredients remain. Set aside.

  4. Remove the soup from heat and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Alternatively, blend the soup in batches in a blender (being careful to leave the lid slightly open so the steam can escape) and return the soup to the stockpot.

  5. Add the remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth and reserved 1/2 cup pinto beans, cover, and bring back to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking often.

  6. Uncover, spoon 1 Tbsp each of the dumpling batter into the soup, and then re-cover. Let the dumplings steam in the soup for 7-10 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked all the way through. If the soup is spitting too much to safely add the dumplings, add a bit more vegetable broth to thin it out.

  7. Remove from heat and season with more salt and pepper, as needed. Serve warm with toppings of choice.