Masa Ball and Tomato Soup
Photography by Matt Taylor-Gross

What do you make with a lot of leftover tortillas? Not just tortilla soup, but how about tortilla dumplings? These dumplings, from Mexican cooking sage Josefina Velázquez de León, get pan-seared, then simmered in a rich cream of tomato soup.

Featured in: The Forgotten Legacy of Mexico’s Original Celebrity Chef


  • 1 lb. stale tortillas, torn
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 oz. grated cotija cheese
  • 6 epazote leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg plus 1 yolk
  • 3 oz. lard
  • 12 cup heavy cream
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 6 tbsp. tomato purée
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, soak the tortillas in the milk until soft, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a food processor along with the cheese, epazote, garlic, onion, egg and yolk, salt, and pepper and purée until smooth. Roll the mixture into 2-inch balls.
  2. Heat lard in a large saucepan over medium-high. Cook the tortilla balls, turning as needed, until golden, 5 minutes. Transfer balls to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the tomato purée and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef stock, salt, and pepper and boil simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tortillas balls and cream and cook 5 minutes more.