Cozy Up with Some Honduran Sopa de Res
Who wouldn’t want a hot, satisfying, hearty and delicious bowl of sopa de res right about now? With the thermostat reaching low temperatures out there, a warming soup is all you need to feel better for the rest of the day.
In Honduras, where this recipe comes from, people usually make it over the weekends, or you can find it at any local food market establishment called puestos. The final soup is similar to those prepared in neighboring countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador. A combination of beef short ribs and neck bones is commonly used to impart the broth more flavor. An interesting variation consists of adding some coconut milk for a richer consistency. Honduras has a wide array of national soup dishes that include; seafood, beef, pork, chicken, meatless options such as Capirotada soup (made with masa harina and cheese balls cooked in vegetable broth and vegetables), beans and legumes soups.
Soups usually call for fresh ingredients given that canned vegetables are not heavily used in the country, which is always a PLUS! Remember, the least processed the BETTER and generally the most NUTRITIOUS. Buen Provecho!
Ingredients & Method (Yields 6 – 8 servings)
- 1 lb of bone-in beef short ribs (remove some of the fat, but leave some on)
- 1 lb of meaty beef neck bones
- 1 tsp canola oil (you may NOT need to use oil is meat looks marbled and pot is really hot)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ of Culantro ancho, chopped
- ½ cilantro, chopped
- ½ lb yucca, peeled and cut into medium pieces
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
- 2 green bananas, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
- 1 ripe plantain, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
- 1 medium chayote squash (known as pataste in Honduras), peeling is optional, especially if the skin is smooth. Cut into 6 wedges
- 1-2 carrots, diced
- 1 sweet corn ear, cut
- 1 cup cabbage, cut into large wedges
- 1 Tbsp annatto paste
- 1 ½ liter of unsalted beef broth OR water (you may need to add more)
- Salt, pepper, ground cumin, fresh or dried oregano to season
(Optional vegetables: sweet potatoes, green plantain, string bans and baby corn)
Season the meat with salt, pepper, cumin, dried oregano (if using fresh oregano leave for last). Heat oil on a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat, let it sear and move only when slightly brown. Add onion, green pepper, garlic and culantro, cook for a 3-5 minutes.
Add water or beef broth and let it cook until meat is tender. Add all vegetables except the cabbage, string beans, if used, and cilantro.
When vegetables are almost tender, dilute the annatto paste with a little of the cooking liquid and add to the soup, add more water if the liquid has evaporated too much.
Adjust the seasoning to taste. Add the rest of the vegetables plus the fresh oregano and chopped cilantro. Serve with hot corn tortillas OR rice and lemon wedges.