Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sopa de Platanos - Plantain Soup

My grandmother loves Sopa de Platano. Although it is simple to make, my grandmother prefers to go to the nearby Latin American Cafe and buy it. By now she knows the restaurant prepares this soup on Mondays and she and her sister usually head out there to get their fill. But don't be fooled, although she buys the soup she may still tell you that she made the soup as she serves it to you. It would not be the first time that either my grandmother or Tia did that.

My aunt had once invited a family over for dinner and wanted to impress them. Not knowing how to cook she decided to order Arroz con Mariscos (a seafood rice dish). She brought home her order, emptied out all the food into her own serving platters and then disposed of all the take out containers. During dinner one of her guest asked her how she made the wonderful dish and my Tia just started listing the ingredients she thought were in the dish and then her husband said that the preparation was "un secreto de su esposa" (his wife's secret). And her guest was none the wiser.

My Tia is slicker at this type of deception than my grandmother. At least my Tia hides all the evidence that it was a take out order. She has been know to do this with desserts and pies at Thanksgiving dinner.

The soup is actually very simple to make. All you need is green plantains, some broth, 2 cloves of garlic and some salt.

I peeled 2 green plantains and cut them into chunks. If you have never done that, you may find it easier to cut off the ends and then make 4 cuts from one end to the other. Then you should be able to peel it. I then put the plantain chunks in a pot and added water to cover the plantains. I also added 2 peeled cloves of garlic and boiled the plantains until tender. Reserve the water when done.

I then mashed the plantain chunks and the 2 garlic cloves with a fork and added about 1/2 cup of the reserved boiling water.

I heated about 5 cups of meat broth. (I had left over meat broth from boiling the flank steak for my Ropa Vieja.) Then I added the mashed green plantains and garlic and less than 1 teaspoon of salt. The soup will start to get thick.

I like to serve the soup with a couple of mariquitas (plantain chips).



  • 2 green plantains, peeled and sliced into 1 inch rounds
  • 5 cups meat broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • scant 1 teaspoon salt, to taste


  1. Place the plantains and garlic into a pot. Cover with water and boil until tender. Reserve the water.
  2. Mash the plantains and garlic and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved water.
  3. Heat the broth. Add the mashed plantain and garlic mixture. Cook on a medium-low heat until the broth starts to thicken.
  4. Salt to taste.

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