Pinto Bean, Steak, and Dumpling Soup

Today’s soup is a deliciously flavorful and hearty soup.  It gets the heartiness from the steak and beans.  It also includes some homemade dumplings.  Now if you don’t want to go to all the work of making the dumplings, I suggest just cutting up some corn tortillas to use in their place.  You will still get the same flavor and similar texture.

Don’t let the long list scare you off either. You are doing 3 different steps with this recipe, making the dumplings, cooking the steak, and making the soup base.  You could also use leftover roast or steak in place of the rib eye for an even quicker version.  I learned how to make this soup from Jeffrey Saad while in Montana.

photo used with permission from

Pinto Bean, Steak, and Dumpling Soup
  • For Dumplings: (6 corn tortilla cut into 1 inch pieces can be substituted)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • ½ cup corn kernels (about 1 cob)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • For Steak:
  • 1 (12-14 oz) rib eye steak, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • For Soup:
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup canned tomato puree
  • 1 (16 oz) can Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed (I prefer BUSH'S®)
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. For Dumplings: In medium-sized pot over medium-high heat pour 1 teaspoon canola oil. Once hot, add corn. Stir and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Pour in milk and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 1 minute. Turn off stove, set aside to cool.
  2. Place butter, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; allow mixture to rise to room temperature. Then use the paddle attachment for an electric mixer or hand mixer to whip.
  3. Add cooled corn/milk mixture to bowl and blend with butter, baking powder and salt mix. Using mixer on slow speed, gradually add cornmeal and flour until mixture forms into dough, about 3 minutes.
  4. Remove dough from mixer, place on clean counter. Knead dough until soft, should not be sticky or dry. Wrap dough in plastic and place in refrigerator.
  5. For Steak: Season steak with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Place a wide pot over medium heat; add 2 teaspoons of canola oil. Once a haze begins to rise from the pot, use tongs to carefully place steak into pot. Sauté until deep golden brown. Using tongs remove steak, set aside on a plate to cool.
  7. For Soup: Keep stove on. Place onions, garlic, chili powder and cumin in the same pot used for the steak, stir occasionally for 5 minutes or until ingredients are golden brown. Pour in beef broth, water and tomato puree, bring to a boil. Cover pot with lid, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn stove off, set aside to cool.
  8. Pour cooled soup base into a blender, puree ingredients until smooth or use an immersion blender. Once smooth, pour soup base back into pot, add pinto beans. Set aside.
  9. Remove dumpling dough from refrigerator, unwrap plastic. Pull off large marble-sized pieces. One at a time, hold dough piece in the palm of your hand and use your thumb to press dough into a boat shape.
  10. Once all are done, bring soup base to a simmer and then place dumplings into pot. Cover with lid, cook for 10 minutes. (If substituting corn tortillas, only cook for a minute or two to soften the tortillas)
  11. Add steak, lime juice, salt and dumplings to pot and bring soup to a boil. Turn off stove.
  12. Ladle soup into bowls; serve even amounts of steak, beans and dumplings. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serves 4 to 6.

Recipe adapted from

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