Smoky Chicken-Chile Soup with Tamale Dumplings

This week has been a tough week. End of summer Eastern Equine Encephalitis is rearing it’s ugly head along with COVID-19. Needless to say, I have had a few late nights. However, like all outbreaks, they are really busy in the beginning and then a rhythm sets in. 18 years doing this, I’m pretty used to it by now. I’m also loving working from home. The late nights are easier when I don’t have to stay in the office, then drive home really tired.

I decided this week to try a chicken and dumpling type soup now that it’s getting colder. I’ve had plenty of your typical chicken and flour-like dumplings in my life. However, when I spotted the Smoky Chicken-Chile Soup with Tamale Dumplings recipe from Eating Well, I knew I had to try it. I love tamales and I love chicken and dumpling soup, but they pair the two for a naturally gluten free dish. This recipe contains tomato, so I will have to account for that. This is also a quick dish. Something you can make on a weeknight. Right up my alley for my busy days.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I am removing the cheese to lower the sodium and calories.
  • I replaced the fire roasted tomatoes with pumpkin puree and bell pepper to increase the vitamins A and C.
  • I increased the servings from 6 to 8 to lower the calories.

Here are the updated stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Smoky Chicken-Chile Soup with Tamale Dumplings

Serves 8


  • 1 cup masa harina
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin or chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin or chili powder
  • 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken thigh
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup quartered and sliced zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Chopped cilantro & lime wedges for garnish
  1. To prepare dumplings: Combine masa harina, 1/2 cup broth, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon cumin (or chili powder) and salt in a medium bowl. Roll the dough into 18 round dumplings, using a scant 1 tablespoon for each.
  2. To prepare soup: Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and cumin (or chili powder) and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in broth, pumpkin puree, chicken, corn and chipotle to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Add the dumplings and zucchini. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until the dumplings and zucchini are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add lime juice. Serve the soup topped with cilantro, with lime wedges on the side, if desired.

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