Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Southwestern Bean Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

This is a GREAT soup to warm your belly with on, say, the third cold, rainy day in a row.  It is mildly spicy, with tender beans and vegetables in a warm, flavorful broth.  The cornmeal dumplings made us think of a cross between cornbread and matzo balls, a great combination if you ask me!

This is a slow-cooker recipe.  Can you tell that I love my slow-cooker?  Since I run out of the door in the mornings, I usually prep my slow-cooker meals the night before, and refrigerate them in a large Tupperware.  That means that in the morning all I have to do is dump everything into the slow-cooker and program it.  This turned out to be a great strategy today, as I ended up being home sick with a cold.  It was great to have hot soup that cooked itself while I pretty much slept on the couch all day.

This soup makes for a great filling, healthy one-dish meal.  I topped ours with a little shredded cheese and cold sour cream.  I think you could have a lot of fun with garnishes here -- scallions, olives, avocado, diced tomatoes, and other traditional taco toppings would work well.

Southwestern Bean Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings
serves 6

3 cups water
1 15oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can black beans, pinto beans, or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 10z package frozen corn
1 cup sliced carrot
1 large onion, chopped
1 4oz can diced green chili peppers, undrained
2 Tbsp instant beef or chicken bouillon
2 tsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
a little fresh ground pepper
1 beaten egg white
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp canola oil

Garnishes (optional, and to taste):
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded Montery Jack cheese
sliced black olives
sour cream
diced tomatoes

1. Mix all of the soup ingredients in a slow-cooker.  cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours, or on HIGH for 5-6 hours.
2. For the dumplings, mix the dry ingredients (flour through pepper) in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, beat together the wet ingredients (egg white, milk, and oil).  Combine the wet and dry ingredients thoroughly, but do not over-mix.
3. Drop the dumplings into the slow-cooker in 6 mounds, right atop the bubbling soup.  Cook for an additional 30 minutes on LOW, or 20 minutes on HIGH.  Do not open the lid during this time!  Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of a dumpling -- it should come out dry.
4. Ladle into bowls, and top each serving with a dumpling.  Garnish to taste.


  1. I love my crockpot too! And I love your soup - the dumplings make it extra special. Hope you're feeling better!

  2. Love the idea of doing it the night before and then setting it in the morning. For whatever reason, my crockpot never cooks slow enough - luckily my husband works from home so he turns it off around 1 and then back on at 4 - what kind of crockpot do you have?

    Love the idea of the cornbread dumplings - stealing that for sure!

  3. I have been looking forward to this recipe since you posted over the weekend! There is something about soup and dumplings that just makes me swoon. Your recipe and photograph lived up to my expectations, these look so very yummy!

  4. I love your soup especially because it is mildly spicy. All these veggies are the medicine you need for your cold. I hope you'll feel better.

  5. This looks really good and I'm going to make it this weekend! Stopped by through a link from Biz's blog. Am looking forward to more of your posts. I hope your week is going well and that you feel better, soon.

  6. I also love my slow cooker during the cold fall and winter months. I love all of the great soup and hearty dishes I've been seeing with the recent rainy weather.

  7. I LOVE dumplings! Thank you for another great-looking slow-cooker recipe.

  8. I am a big fan of soups like this and the use of my slow cooker. I absolutely love the idea of the cornmeal dumplings!

  9. Love the cornbread dumplings!! I've never done that before!