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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bumblebee Stew

This is simpler than simple, and always is a big hit.  When we went to a restaurant chain called J. Gumbo's and had this stew, we liked it so much that we tried to figure out how they did it.  This is our best approximation of how they make Bumblebee Stew.  If a vegan version is desired, cut the amount of butter down a bit, substituting with a vegan butter, and use plain rice milk in the tomato soup.


1 large yellow onion, diced
2 sticks salted sweet cream butter
1 small package frozen corn
2 cans black beans, rinsed
2 cans diced tomatoes, strained
2 cans Campbell's tomato soup, constituted with milk
Rice, 1-2 cups dry


Sauté the diced onion in the butter.  Add corn and sauté 3-4 more minutes.  Add the prepared tomato soup, and then add the beans and tomatoes.

Prepare the rice according to the package instructions.

Serve in a bowl with one big scoop of rice on bottom and the stew on top.  Garnish with fresh sliced green onion and cornbread sticks or the bread of your choice.


  1. Thanks I've been searching the web for over an hour searching for a variation or copy cat of the recipe.

  2. Two STICKS of butter? Are you sure? Thanks for posting this, I've been wanting this recipe.

  3. I used 3 T butter and it turned out just fine. I also added some cayenne pepper because the J. Gumbo's stew had a bit of heat.

  4. I used 1/2 stick butter, stewed tomatoes instead of diced and 1tsp Old Bay Seafood Boil spice. The Old Bay gave it a little kick.

  5. Sorry but i don't think this is anything like j gumbo's bumblebee stew.

  6. well crud.... Here i thought i found a nice low fat thing for my low cholestol diet and now i find out i just ate a stick of butter.

    was delicious tho..

  7. What makes it sweet because this stew has a bit of a sweetness to it that I ate at J.Gumbo? How close to the original does this recipe taste like it?

  8. You have to add Honey - hence the "Bumblebee" part of the soup.

    Add 4 tbsp (or more if you like it sweeter).

    I also bought some Blue Cheese crumbles. Taste just like the dip/soup they made. First time I went there on a whim (and I love Cajun food). I ate this all

    1. at what point in the process do you add the honey?

    2. You don't have to add honey at all. The yellow corn and black beans make it LOOK like bumblebees.

    3. and the tomato soup makes it sweet! honey would be overkill. It's not dessert

  9. And yes, it's really 2 sticks of butter.

  10. You do not have to serve it on rice, either. It is just fine alone.

  11. I think for the purest the recipe below is spot-on. I came across its secret the same way I came across this blog - looking for bumblebee stew. The secret is "condensed milk". It's true, I found footage of a news anchor featuring the chain and he asked what gives it the unique taste and the manager/owner said "Condensed Milk". (By his face I don't think he meant to say it.)

    Serves four to six.

    6-8 tablespoons butter
    1 cup half-and-half
    1 can (5 ounces) condensed milk (Add more to taste if desired)
    1 tablespoon sugar
    Pinch cayenne (Add more to taste if desired)
    1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (Add more to taste if desired)
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (Add more to taste if desired)
    1 pound corn, frozen or canned (I prefer sweet corn but I like mine like me, on the sweeter side)
    1 can (14.5 ounces) diced stewed tomatoes (Don't drain - Put all that goodness in)
    7-1/2 ounces (half a 15-ounce can) black beans, drained and rinsed
    1/2 pound chopped white onion (I know seems a lot but trust me)
    (2) bags Boil-In-Bag "Success" white rice (Quick, easy and optional)
    (1) loaf of French bread cut in even sections, toasted and buttered

    In a large pot, combine butter, half-and-half, condensed milk, sugar and spices over low heat; stir until well combined.

    Add corn, tomatoes, beans and onions; raise heat to medium-high and cook 45 minutes or until onions are tender.

    Taste and add more spices (for more of that kick at the end and condensed milk if you still think it needs a bit more sweetness)

    Cut, toast and butter bread

    Poor over white rice or eat alone

    1. I used this, but I sauteed the onion and corn before added to rest of stew. Taste great

  12. It's actually great using no butter at all!
    It doesn't need honey, the tomato soup is already sweet & almond milk is a great substitute for milk, I've even used coconut milk in a pinch.
    And cayenne is a must!