Mami's Sancocho can heal the world

Whenever I'm sick, I run directly to my mami for some soup. What is it about the common cold and soup being the perfect comfort food for it? It's not just that, though. Chicken soup has been scientifically proven to cure colds. It's not just chicken soup that can do it, though.

Soups made by moms can really heal the world, whether the mom hails from Korea or from one of the Latin America countries that we call home. A perfect example is Sancocho—a traditional soup (sometimes considered a stew) that typically consists of large pieces of meat and vegetables served in a broth.


There's plenty of variations between our countries, though. Some eat it with fish, others with pork and I personally always had it with chicken. But no matter how you have it, it's true that this is one of those dishes that we love so knowing that it will cure our cold is just extra motivation to go home tonight and make this delicious Sancocho (Colombian Chicken Stew) recipe from


7 cloves garlic

3 medium carrots, chopped

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped

1 small Spanish onion, chopped

1 habenero chile, chopped

2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 gallon water

3 low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes

1 tablespoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper

1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces

1 small yucca, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 green plantain, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

5 all-purpose potatoes, halved

2 ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces

4 ears corn, cut in 3 pieces


In a blender, puree the garlic, carrots, peppers, onion, chile, and 1 cup cilantro.

In a large pot, combine the puree with the water, bouillon cubes, and cumin, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the chicken and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Add the yucca and green plantain and simmer for 10 minutes more. Add the potatoes, ripe plantain, and corn and simmer for another 15 minutes.

In a blender, combine the remaining 1 cup cilantro and a little of the stew broth and puree. Stir the puree into the soup, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

What's your take on this classic Latino dish? Does your country have another variation?

Image via jovike/flickr