Vegan Sancocho

Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 2 hours
Vegan Sancocho

Vegan Sancocho

Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 2 hours

About This Recipe

Sancocho is a hearty soup eaten all over Latin America, traditionally a party food served at celebrations like weddings or other big bashes as the night comes to an end. It’s typically made with a lot of cuts of meat and starchy vegetables. The starchy vegetables, delicious all on their own, make for a nourishing and filling vegan soup. 

The Benefits

A mix of starchy (taro, cassava) and non-starchy vegetables with some quality protein (chickpeas and split yellow peas), this dish is a treat for neurotransmitters and the harbinger of a better mood. Squash has copious amounts of vitamins A, C, potassium, and fiber, and their bright yellow-orange hues mean they are packed with carotenoids. Plantains have more potassium than bananas, and copper, iron, and vitamins A and K. Their high fiber content benefits digestion, cardiovascular health, and improves insulin resistance.  

Note: When making vegetarian soups, one of the fastest, tastiest ways to a delicious broth is to fortify the water used to cook beans (aka bean broth) with herbs, onions, and garlic. The next time you make a big pot of beans, save the bean broth! Put it in your freezer for some ready-to-go delicious vegetarian broth.


Serves 4
  • 12 oz (340 g) calabaza pumpkin or kabocha squash, cut into four large pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup (45 g) dried chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup (48 g) dried yellow split peas
  • 8 cups (1.9 L) water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 10 to 12 cilantro stems
  • 1 large green plantain
  • 1 medium yautia (taro)
  • 1 medium yuca (cassava)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Cilantro leaves for serving
  • Lime wedges for serving


  1. Step 1
    Put the pumpkin, onion, chickpeas, yellow split peas, water, bay leaf, salt, garlic, and cilantro stems in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer. Cook until the chickpeas are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the heat. Remove the pumpkin and set aside. Allow both the liquid and the pumpkin to cool. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Puree the liquid with the beans, garlic, cilantro, and onions, using an immersion blender (or in a standing blender). Return the liquid to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Step 2
    Peel and cut the plantain into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the plantain to the pot and let it start cooking while you peel the other tubers — the plantain takes a little longer to cook.
  3. Step 3
    Peel the yautia and yuca. First, cut each tuber in half lengthwise then each half into 1/2-inch pieces. Add them to the pot of soup along with the dried oregano. Cook the soup over medium heat until all the starches are soft and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  4. Step 4
    Once everything is cooked (or almost cooked), scoop the pumpkin flesh with a spoon. Add the pumpkin to the sancocho and discard the peel.
  5. Step 5
    Taste the sancocho. Does it need a little more salt? If so, add a pinch or two. Serve with cilantro and wedges of lime. Serve immediately. (Note that the soup will thicken as it cools. If reheating, add water to desired consistency.)