Vori Vori (Corn-Dumpling Soup)

Vori means "ball" in the Guaraní language of Paraguay; vori vori is the plural form. The name references the spherical dumplings that float in the broth. The soup originated as a fusion of the cuisines of Spanish Franciscan missionaries and the Guaraní people. For the lightest dumplings, use clarified butter, also known as ghee. Read more about the author's connection to this recipe in Soup—and Life—Lessons From My Grandma.

Vori Vori (Corn-Dumpling Soup)
Photo: Leigh Beisch



  • 1 bone-in chicken breast (about 1 ¼ pounds)

  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled 

  • 1 small carrot

  • 1 stalk celery

  • 1 large clove garlic

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • 8 cups water

  • 4 cups diced butternut squash


  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

  • ¼ cup grated white onion

  • 1 cup fine stone-ground cornmeal

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup grated queso blanco (see Tip) or ricotta salata

  • Chopped fresh parsley or scallion greens for garnish


  1. To prepare soup: Place chicken, yellow onion, carrot, celery, garlic and salt in a large pot. Add water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat without touching bone registers 165°F, about 25 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool in the broth for 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Strain the broth and return it to the pot. (Discard solids.)

  2. Meanwhile, to prepare dumplings: Mix egg, egg yolk and onion in a large bowl with a fork. Add cornmeal and stir to combine. Add ghee (or butter) and mash it in with the back of the fork. Add cheese and knead until a smooth dough forms. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

  3. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Shape the dough into 18 dumplings, about 1 inch in diameter. Reduce heat to a simmer and add half the dumplings. Cook until they rise to the surface, about 4 minutes, then continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

  4. Add squash to the broth in the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.

  5. Shred the chicken and return to the broth, along with the dumplings. Simmer until the chicken and the dumplings are heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve topped with parsley or scallion greens, if desired.


Tip: Queso blanco is a fresh cheese made from cow's or goat's milk that is used throughout South America. It has a mild flavor and a soft, creamy texture that is slightly crumbly. Look for it in Latin American grocery stores and large grocery stores or order it online. (You can also use ricotta salata.)

To make ahead: Prepare through Step 1 and refrigerate poached chicken and broth separately for up to 1 day.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

317 Calories
13g Fat
28g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 317
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 22g 44%
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 134mg 45%
Sodium 490mg 21%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

Related Articles