Colombian Yellow Hominy Soup (Sopa de maiz Pelao)

by Erica Dinho on February 23, 2010

Do you have pork spine?, I asked the butcher at my local market. He looked at me like I was from another planet and said “no, we don’t have that!” Okay, thank you, I said.

I was plannig to make Sopa de Maiz Pelao, a soup that my grandmother used to make. She would add pork spine(espinazo de cerdo) and the flavor was fantastic. So I started getting the rest of the groceries and thinking about that soup I was craving so badly. Well, I decided to buy pork ribs and use them instead.

I made the soup yesterday for lunch and it was delicious. I did not miss the pork spine at all. After I had my soup I called my aunt in Florida and told her the story. She laughed and told me that in this country pork spine are called pork neck bones.

So, if you want to make the soup the way Mamita used to make it, ask your butcher for pork neck bones, but if you prefer my way, use pork ribs. Either way, it is a wonderful soup!

For those who don’t know what hominy is, it is white or yellow dried corn and is used in Mexican pozole. In Colombia, we use it in arepas de maiz pelao, mazamorra or soups. You can buy it and cook it at home from scratch, or just buy it pre-cooked in cans.



(4- 6 servings)

  • 2 pounds pork ribs or pork neck bones
  • 8 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sazon goya with azafran or color
  • 2 whole scallions
  • 1 can (15.5) oz yellow hominy (maiz pelao amarillo)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup hogao
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • Maiz pelao or Hominy


  1. Place a pot over medium-high heat. Add the water, salt, pepper, whole scallions, cumin, sazon Goya and pork ribs, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium- low. Cook for about 35 to 40 minutes. Discard the scallions.
  2. Add potato, hominy, thyme and hogao, cover and cook for 25 minutes more or until the pork is cooked.
  3. Add the cilantro and serve.
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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 KennyT February 23, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Hahaha, we eat pork spine too!


2 Kim February 23, 2010 at 10:32 AM

What a cute story Erica! I feel like we our butchers need to be a little more educated about what they sell. Mine look at me like I’m crazy when I ask them for the simplest things.
Whether you use neck bones or ribs, this looks delicious!


3 Ben February 23, 2010 at 10:43 AM

It’s hilarious when we get lost in translation and people look at us like we are crazy, hehe. I love the name of this recipe “pelao”. It does sound and look delicious!


4 Barbara February 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Funny story, Gloria! Oh well, pork spine, pork ribs….both are located in nearly the same place, right?
Your hominy soup looks delicious!


5 Baking is my Zen February 23, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Looks delicious!


6 Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes February 23, 2010 at 11:41 AM

ha ha people give me weird looks when I ask if they have fresh whole fish or squid… :) This soup looks wonderful! You always have great recipes, Erica! Love your blog.


7 Erica February 23, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Thank you guys!!!


8 theUngourmet February 23, 2010 at 12:03 PM

I have always loved hominy! I haven’t heard it called pork spine either. Your soup looks fabulous!


9 Lele February 23, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Hahaha I love old family recipes with ingredients from… unusual parts of the animal. The first time my grandmother met her future mother in law, she went to stir her pot of soup and looked down at a GOAT HEAD!


10 5 Star Foodie February 23, 2010 at 3:54 PM

This soup sounds so delicious with pork ribs and hominy!


11 Christine @ Fresh Local and Best February 23, 2010 at 4:14 PM

This looks like wonderful succulent soup. I’m curious about pork spine now, I’ll have to ask about that at the butcher.


12 Erica February 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Thank you everyone for your comments!


13 Faith February 23, 2010 at 6:47 PM

What a lovely, colorful soup! I’m glad it turned out delicious even without the spine! :)


14 Bo February 23, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Looks so delicious! Beautiful color. My dad love hominy…I will have to make this for him sometime.


15 Ivy February 24, 2010 at 2:58 AM

The soup sounds delicious.


16 grace February 24, 2010 at 8:19 AM

my grandpa makes hominy for us every year, and this is a new and interesting way to use it! methinks i’d prefer the pork ribs over the neck bones, but i’d take whatever i can get!


17 Norma February 24, 2010 at 9:42 AM

I love this soup. It reminds me of a soup my sister-in-law used to make in Venezuela. Lovely….thanks


18 Erica February 24, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Thank you all for the comments!


19 Sarah Naveen February 24, 2010 at 10:08 AM

So colorful and yummy!!!


20 Sarah February 24, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Looks so good! I am glad I found your site! My husband loves authentic hispanic foods (and like making them). Love hominy – will be trying this soon.


21 tasteofbeirut February 25, 2010 at 2:11 AM

This soup made me think of posole, which I adore. I would like to try it someday.


22 Oysterculture February 26, 2010 at 8:46 PM

This soup sounds just delicious but I have to ask why you could not have posted the recipe sooner! =) My husband opened a HUGE container of hominy a few weeks ago and I was struggling with creative ways to use it up. I could have surely used this yummy soup!


23 Erica March 3, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Thank you!


24 Perry March 27, 2010 at 7:37 PM

Great recipe! My wife isn’t really into brothy soups, but she and my kids enjoy this one!


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