Sancocho o Sopa de Uña (Green Plantain Soup)

by Erica Dinho on December 7, 2010

Sancocho de Uña

Sancocho de Uña or Sopa de Uña is a typical soup from Colombia. It consists of green plantains, cut into small pieces using your hands. The soup is made with beef, beef bones for flavor, green plantains, yuca, cilantro, and other vegetables like onions, garlic, tomatoes and scallions.

Plantains are an important food in a Colombian diet and we use them in many of our dishes. Plantains to Colombians are like potatoes to Americans. Plantain is a truly delicious vegetable and is perfect for soups. It comes from the banana family, but it is more starchy and it has to be cooked before you eat it. Green plantain or unripe plantain are firmer and lower in sugar than yellow plantain or ripe plantain. Plantains can be mashed, boiled, roasted, fried, or added directly to soups and stews. In Colombia we even use them in our traditional Colombian desserts.

If you haven’t cooked with plantains before, one tip is to cook the green plantain within a day or two after you buy it. If not, the plantain will ripen very quickly and you’ll have to use it in a recipe that calls for ripe plantain instead. The second tip is to be careful not to get any plantain on your clothes as green plantain can stain fabric. You might want to use an apron.

I like to serve this soup with white rice, hot sauce and avocado on the side. Buen provecho!



  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tsp achiote or color
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 10 cups water/broth
  • 1½ pounds beef bones or beef ribs
1 pound beef, cut into pieces
  • 4 green plantains, peeled and cut into pieces using your hands
  • 1 pound yuca, peeled and cut in chunks
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pelando Platano


  1. (6-8 servings)
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot, add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell pepper, cumin, achiote, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the water or broth, the beef bones, the meat chunks, and plantain pieces.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature and simmer for about 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Add the yuca pieces and continue simmering for another 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.
  6. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm with avocado, white rice and hot sauce on the side.
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Faith December 7, 2010 at 2:02 PM

What a yummy soup! I love plantains and I would love to cook with them more…I’d love to try this soup!


2 Jeannie December 7, 2010 at 7:56 PM

That looks delicious! I have not eaten plantain before and don’t think they are available here.


3 Joan Nova December 7, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Perfect for the cold weather. I love sancocho.


4 5 Star Foodie December 7, 2010 at 10:31 PM

A very unique soup with green plantains! I would sure love to try this!


5 Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog December 7, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Sopa de uña odd name but I see lot of flavor inside – ideal for cold days later!




6 anh December 8, 2010 at 1:20 AM

we only come across the green type here! I really want to try this recipe :)


7 norma December 8, 2010 at 11:34 AM



8 rebecca subbiah December 9, 2010 at 10:30 PM

wow this soup looks amazing Indians use a lot of plantains as well


9 Oysterculture December 13, 2010 at 10:42 PM

This soup just sounds delicious. I never heard of using green plantains and especially in a soup like this. I cannot wait to give it a try. I have not been able to spend as much time on your wonderful recipes as I would like. My RSS feed was not letting me know of your updates and I’ve been buried in teaching. Tomorrow’s my last class so hope to get caught up on life. Hope all is well with you and you are having an easy pregnancy.


10 Erica December 15, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Thank you everyone!


11 Rosey April 11, 2011 at 1:23 AM

This recipe looks great. My teens introduced me to fried plantains (they tasted them outside of the house) and now we all just love them. The younger kids think they are potato chips!


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