Sopa de res, a Salvadoran soup recipe from “Para Chuparse Los Dedos”

A beautiful soup with corn and other vegetables is on display on a white table.
Sopa de res. Photo courtesy of “Para Chuparse Los Dedos.”

Read the article by Marabet Morales about the new Central American-focused cookbook and oral history project.


Serves 6-8 


2-3 pounds of  beef bone (You can ask the meat butcher to cut it in pieces)

1 pound of tender meat

Herbs: whole sprigs of parsley, cilantro, celery, alcapate (if found), roughly chopped

1 yuca, peeled & cut into chunks

2 Guisquil, cut into chunks

3 carrots, cut into small chunks

2 corn on the cob, cut into chunks

½  cabbage, cut into small wedges 

2 tomatoes, chopped 

1 onion, chopped

 1 green chili, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 squash or zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 ripe or unripened plantain with its peel (optional)

3 liters of water 

Salt to taste 

Put in a large pot 3 liters of water to boil with the meat and let it froth. Leave the pot half covered. Remove the fat from the foam so that the soup is not too greasy.

Then add the herbs, tomatoes, green chili, garlic, onions, all minced and salt. You can season it to your liking with salt and spices. Cover and let it cook for 45 minutes. You may need a little more water since the bone tends to reduce the water while it is cooking with the herbs. 

Meanwhile, cut  vegetables into large chunks so that it drowns in the water. First add the yucca, because it takes longer to cook. When it begins to soften, add in the other vegetables except the squash and cabbage, this is added 10 minutes before the soup is done cooking because it cooks quickly. Cover it, and let it cook for 25 minutes more or until vegetables are soft. 

Serve the soup with a white rice and warm tortillas. 

6-8 porciones


2-3 libras de hueso de res, que esté carnoso (Pida que se lo partan en la carnicería en pedazos pequeños)

1 libra de carne blandita de res

Hierbas aromáticas: perejil, cilantro, apio, hierbabuena, alcapate (si lo consiguen), picado

1 yuca, pelada y picada en trozos

2 guisquil, picado en trozos

3 zanahorias, picadas en trozos

2 elotes, picados en trozos

½ repollo

2 tomates, picados

1 cebolla, picada

1 chile verde, picado 

4 dientes de ajo

2 calabacitas, picadas en trozos de 1 pulgada

2 plátanos maduros con cáscara o verde (todavía más rico) (opcional)

3 litros de agua

Sal al gusto

Poner en una olla grande, 3 litros de agua a hervir, con la carne. Dejar que espume, deje medio tapada la olla. Sacar la grasa de la espuma para que la sopa no quede muy grasosa. 

Luego, agregarle las hierbas, tomate, chile verde, ajo, cebollas, todo picadito y la sal. Usted puede sazonarla a su gusto con sal y especies. Taparla y dejar que se cocine por 45 minutos.

Posiblemente necesite un poco más de agua ya que durante se está cociendo el hueso con las hierbas, se reduce un poco la cantidad de agua.

Mientras tanto, cortar la verdura en trozos grandes para que nos deshaga en la sopa, e ir echando por orden de su tiempo de cocción. Primero la yuca, porque tarda más, cuando comience a ablandar, echarle lo demás, menos la calabaza ni el repollo, esto se le echan 10 minutos antes de que este la sopa porque se cocina rápido. Taparla, y dejar que se cocine por 25 minutos más, o hasta que la verdura esté blandita.

Servirla con un arrocito blanco y tortillas calientitas

About Marabet Morales Sikahall

Marabet Morales is a twenty-one year old college student. Marabet is an Oakland native but identifies as Guatemalan-American. She is bilingual and attempts to write in Spanish every once in a blue moon. She is currently a student at Berkeley City College and is in the midst of applying to transfer to SF State for Creative Writing. Her goal is to eventually become an editor for a publishing company. She believes that helping cultivate a passion for reading in young children is essential for the future. Marabet’s love for Oakland, writing, and working hard for her community is what drives her everyday. She wants to be a role model for young women of color who want to write or be artists. She writes this article in hope that somewhere a young woman will find her voice as she was able to do. An interesting but weird fact about Marabet is that she is allergic to nutella. View all posts by Marabet Morales Sikahall →

One Comment

  1. Jean Davies

    What a wonderfully affirmative article this is, pointing to the strength, pride, and culturally rich Central American communities that live in the Bay Area. The inclusion of the recipes is a gift. Thank you, Marabet.

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