Guineo Soup (Sopa de Guineo)

by Erica Dinho on November 16, 2009

Sopa de GuineoThis guineo soup is one of my mom’s favorites. Since I’ve lived in the United States, I have yet to see guineos, until this past week that is. I went to the local supermarket a few days ago and as always, I went to the international vegetable and fruit aisle to look for new stuff. Anyway, you could imagine how I felt when I saw guineos with a little sticker on them that said “from Colombia”. I experienced pure joy and I wanted to by a case, just in case I couldn’t find them again for another nine years.

You may be asking yourself, what are guineos? Well, they look like small green plantains, yet they are less starchy. They are also known as unripe bananas, and to me, they are a mix between green bananas and green plantains. This vegetable is used in Latin American cuisine in many different ways. This recipe is just one example. I hope you have an easier time finding guineos than I did so that you too can enjoy this wonderful vegetable.



(4 Servings)

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork ribs, cut into pieces
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 guineos, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Place the onion, garlic, scallions and ¼ cup of the cilantro in the food processor.
  2. Place a pot over medium-high heat. Add the water and pork ribs, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium- low. Add the onion mixture salt and pepper and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Add the guineo, potato and ground cumin, cover and cook for 45 minutes more or until the pork is cooked.
  4. Add the remaining cilantro and serve.
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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Divina November 16, 2009 at 8:46 AM

I think we have that in the Philippines. We call it “saba” banana. If I’m not mistaken, they are quite similar. We have a dish that uses beef. We cook the beef in water and ginger until tender add the cooking bananas, potato, chorizo and cabbage until everything is tender. Now, I have to try this one.


2 Ben November 16, 2009 at 8:46 AM

I had seen guineos before, but always thought they were dwarf plantains, LOL. That’s a great recipe for the season, do you think I can use plantains for this recipe?


3 Erica November 16, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Ben- Use very green bananas, if you don’t find guineos.


4 Bea November 16, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Mmmm! Qué rico! I have to go to Produce World to see if I can find good plátanos for this.


5 Rebecca November 16, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Is that different or the same as the Manzano ?


6 Erica November 16, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Rebecca- What is manzano?


7 Oysterculture November 16, 2009 at 11:50 AM

I intend to look for guineos I want to try this yummy sounding soup.


8 rosa November 16, 2009 at 12:29 PM

rica sopa de guineo ..guineo es guineo..platano es platano, banano es banano ..que se parece si el guineo a los anteriores pero que deliciosa sopa es, recuerdos cuando vivia en colombia aca en usa es dificil sabores diferentes


9 Sophie November 16, 2009 at 12:43 PM

What an apart & so tasty looking soup, Erica!
Yum Yum Yum!


10 Claudia Medeiros November 16, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Indeed, we use guineos in some meat recipes here. We call them “green bananas”. This recipe is wonderful and it’s great to know we can use this vegetable in a soup recipe, as well.

Have a beautiful week, Erica :)


11 Jhonny Walker November 16, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Hey Erica…I know these things…from India! They are lovely. And so is the soup. I know that feeling. When you see something you love after a long time…its not enough just to buy for now. It seems we can buy it to last us forever!…but it doesn’t..and that is both sad and good. For the next time you see will be the same feeling of euphoria once again :) :)


12 Erica November 16, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Thank you everyone for the comments!


13 Palidor November 16, 2009 at 7:45 PM

I’ve never seen those before. They’re really cute. The dish looks lovely and I’m glad you were able to find food from your home country.


14 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie November 16, 2009 at 9:06 PM

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen guineos in my supermarket, will check! The soup sounds excellent!


15 Hummingbird Appetite November 16, 2009 at 9:39 PM

Thanks for telling us about guineos! Your soup sounds heavenly. Pork ribs? I gotta have that.


16 Diana @ Spain in Iowa November 16, 2009 at 10:29 PM

Erica, This soup looks so comforting. I may have seen these little guineos in our supermarket! I’m quite interested now to find them!


17 Kim November 16, 2009 at 11:28 PM

What a great find! Don’t you love when you find an ingredient like that? Looks like a great soup :D


18 Sarah Naveen November 17, 2009 at 8:04 AM

OOh!!! thats an awesome recipe with Plantains( we call this also as plantain)
This is a must have item in my home( any south Indian home) and i make lot of mixed stir fry and curries with that.But soup is very new to me.
This thing is available year round in Indian grocery stores..
So check it out there , next time u feel like having this..[:)]…
Soup looks awesome!!!


19 Erica November 17, 2009 at 8:41 AM

Thank you all for visiting!


20 Rebecca November 17, 2009 at 9:44 AM

The Manzano is an Apple Banana it looks very similar to your picture of guineos… the sticker on it says manzano and it’s from Colombia too. You eat them like a reagular banana when they are yellow.


21 Erica November 17, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Rebecca- Thank you for the info! I know murrapos, they are baby bananas.


22 danielle November 17, 2009 at 11:56 PM

this looks fabulous! I’m going to have to look at a couple of markets around here for guineos.


23 Soma November 21, 2009 at 6:03 PM

I did not know they were special!! I always thought they were smaller plantains ;-) Thanks for sharing the knowledge.


24 Sandra March 2, 2010 at 1:23 PM

I made this soup on sunday. It was wonderful!


25 Anonymous May 21, 2010 at 9:18 PM

What a delicious soup. I found the little plantains at my local Latin market and made the soup yesterday. It was great.


26 Oscar January 18, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Hola Erica,

So far I have followed many of your recipes. Including the Tamales, Empanadas, and Aji Picante. I am converting my american friends into this dishes. My partner brought for me the guines (by mistake) and I looked into my fridge and to my surprise I had all and ever single item for the recipe. La sopa de guineo has always been one of my favorites. I made it today and it was awesome. Thank you so much.
Ps. if you you have a recipe for la sopa de arracacha can you share it?


27 LUCIA MILLAN April 12, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Si se sacan las costillas y se licuan los demás ingredientes y luego al emplatar se le echa una cucharada de crema de leche, se incorporan las costillas y se le echa cilantro picadito, es un delicioso manjar


28 Tia June 2, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I absolutely LOVE soup and LOVE guineo so finding this recipe was a great surprise. Being that I am vegan I will not use any meat, but I am sure it will turn out delicious. It is great to see a variety of ways to make guineo so meal accessible. Also, it amazes me how many different people from different cultures enjoy these little green bananas.


29 Catracho August 12, 2012 at 12:35 AM

A eso en Honduras se le llaman ” morocas” o ” chatas” y he escuchado gente de El Salvador que les dice ” guineo majoncho” , son gruesos y cortos, tambien alguna gente les dice ” butucos”


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