Chipilín soup with balls of masa (Sopa de Chipilín con Bolitas)

Crotalaria longirostrata is the scientific name of the chipilín plant; the chipilín is a shrub that naturally grows in the tropical regions of Central America. Its leaves are used in soups, to prepare chicken, rice, beans and tamales; it has a special delicate taste that enhances the taste of food and gives it the central american signature taste. Although it can be hard to find outside Mexico, chipilín is essential to prepare many recipes from Chiapas.

The cultural and historical heritage of Chiapas is reflected directly in their traditional dishes; many of these dishes are from old mayan culinary traditions, based on local ingredients: beans prepared with salted beef, exotic meat tamales, the chispola, and many more; and let’s not forget the variety of sweets made with local fruits such as bananas, cassava, pumpkin or coconut powder.

This soup is one of the most important dishes that characterizes Chiapas, if you can find Chipilín I invite you to try this easy recipe at home!

| Yield: 8 bowls | Preparation: | Cooking: | Total time: | | by:

Recipe for the Chipilín Soup

* 1 big bunch of fresh chipilín
* 3 cloves of garlic
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 corn ears, shelled (1 and 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn)
* 6 cups of hot water
* 1 cup masa for tamales
* 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled
* 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
* 2 tablespoons oil
* 5 tablespoons shortening, softened
* 1 tablespoon butter
* salt


1) Cut the stems from the chipilín leaves, wash well the leaves and drain. Pour the oil in a bowl, fry the onion and garlic over medium heat.

2) Add the chipilín leaves, broth, hot water, corn kernels and salt to taste. Bring to a boil.

3) Separately, mix the masa dough with the shortening, and knead the dough into a perfectly smooth dough. Add the crumbled cheese to the dough and season with a bit of salt. Continue kneading.

4) Form dough balls and fry them slightly in a little butter. Add them to the broth with chipilín, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until the dough balls are cooked through, and serve.

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