Sancocho is one of my favorite traditional Colombian soups. There are many variations of Sancocho throughout Colombia, depending on the region, while you’ll find other versions around Latin America. Of course every family puts their own twist on Sancoho too!
Sancocho is basically a very thick soup made with root vegetables and different kinds of meats, in a broth, usually flavored with herbs (cilantro or parsley), combined with achiote, garlic, onion, scallions and bell peppers. It is almost a stew, but still considered a soup. Every Sancocho you try may be different from the last and unique in its own right. Sancochos in Colombia are always served with avocado, white rice and ají picante (Colombian hot sauce) on the side.
This is the typical Sunday meal in some Colombian homes, perfect for enjoying with your family. This dish warms the soul, heart and body, and is exactly what I expect to taste when I am craving a tasty, comforting, hot soup.
1 cup chopped onions
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 scallion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground achiote or color
12 cups of water, or more if necessary
8 chicken drumsticks
2 pounds of short beef ribs
2 green plantains, peeled and cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces
4 medium white potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 pound frozen or fresh yuca cut into big pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, place the chicken, beef ribs, onion mixture, salt and green plantain.
Add the water and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 45 minutes.
Add the potatoes and yuca. Continue cooking for 30 more minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Stir in the cilantro.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in large soup bowls, dispersing the ribs, chicken and vegetables evenly.