Red Bean Soup with Beef and Pumpkin

by Erica Dinho on November 11, 2010

Red Bean, Beef  and Pumpkin Soup

One of the things I love most about Colombia is its many geographical, topographical, and climatic variations. Naturally, there are going to be variations in what people eat throughout the country as well, but beans are a country wide staple.

If you had to choose one food that you would miss the most if it were to be removed from your diet, what would it be? Sometimes that question comes to my mind and the answer to that question for me is beans!

They are, after all, a healthy, inexpensive protein. And even though beans have been a part of my diet my entire life, I still really enjoy cooking with them and eating them.

I love soups like this traditional Colombian Red Bean Soup. It gives me a complete dish in one bowl with many delicious flavors. This recipe is sure to be a hit… hearty and perfect for the many cold days to come.

Buen provecho!



(8-10 Servings)

  • 1 pound dried red beans
  • 1 1/2 pound beef, cut into small pieces
  • 12 cups of water ( more if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup aliños sauce
  • 1/2 cup hogao
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 pound yuca, diced
  • 1 ripe plantain, peeled and diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Fresh cilantro

Sopa de Frijoles Rojos


  1. Wash the beans and soak overnight in cold water. Drain the beans and place in a large pot and add the water, aliños, carrots and beef. Over medium-high heat, bring the beans to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the beans to cook until almost tender, approximately 2 hours.
  2. When the beans are almost tender, add the hogao, plantains, yuca, butternut squash, cumin, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for another 45 minutes or until the beans are fully cooked. (Add additional water as necessary).
  3. Add chopped fresh cilantro and serve with plain white rice.
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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenna November 11, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Wow, your photography is gorgeous! Not to mention the recipe looks delicious–the flavor looks like it would be out of this world.
The one food I couldn’t do without: rice! Desde pequeña, siempre ha sido mi comida favorita–arroz blanco.


2 Jenny November 11, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Hi Erica,

I’m Colombian too and love your blog and recipes. Everything looks delicious and I can’t wait to visit my family in NYC (I live in Washington DC) to try and share some with them. When I was little, my mom used to make a salad with cooked carrots and beets, do you happen to have a recipe for it? If so could you post it?

Best of luck and thanks so much for your hard work spreading the goodness of Colombian food. Your blog is a dream come true for me and I’m sure many others.



3 anh November 11, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Yum!!! So hearty.


4 Joan Nova November 12, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Wonderful, like a sancocho with all those delicious vegetables. I especially love the combination of pumpkin, yuca and plantains.


5 Chef E November 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Ummm boy can I smell this! I would love it…recently I made tepary beans with squash and was it good! Feed that baby LOL


6 Faith November 12, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Bean soups are a favorite in my house and this one looks like a real winner! Great combo of flavors, and I love the pumpkin in there!


7 norma November 12, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Erica..I love yor soups..I like the combination of all these veggies….


8 Erica November 12, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Thank you everyone!


9 Chris November 13, 2010 at 11:51 AM

That is one hearty soup. I bet it leaves you full and satisfied. The slaw looks great too!


10 grace November 16, 2010 at 1:41 AM

i don’t think i’d survive without beans, and that’s the truth! great soup, erica. :)


11 Sue/the view from great island February 4, 2012 at 3:56 PM

This soup sounds delicious, and, for me anyway, the flavor combination is unexpected. The beef and pumpkin sounds particularly great.


12 Gaby October 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM

I made this soup yesterday and it was absolutely delicious.


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