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.

EatingWell Magazine, January / February 2021


Credit: Leigh Beisch

Recipe Summary





Instructions Checklist
  • 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.)

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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

2 cups
317 calories; fat 13g; cholesterol 134mg; sodium 490mg; carbohydrates 28g; dietary fiber 5g; protein 22g; sugars 3g; saturated fat 7g.