There are days when a girl just needs her mom. Today was one of those days for me. My mom and I have always been very close and it’s been a hard 3 years being so far from her. She lives in sunny Florida and I’m in stinky ol’ Maryland. I do love Maryland for the most part but not when it comes to family.
When I really miss my family I find that if I eat something that I ate with them, I am closer, somehow. Growing up my mom made everything from scratch, nothing canned or boxed, EVER. I know I got some of my food ‘snobery’ from her :). When we would get sick as kids my mom would make a killer chicken soup. It could cure anything and it was delicious! I was in the mood for soup the other day but I wasn’t in the mood for chicken so I asked her for the recipe for sancocho. Sancocho is a Hispanic soup or stew that Wiki describes like this. Anyway, I asked my mom for the recipe and I was blown away by how easy it was!
Makes.. really as much as you want! Left overs are amazing!
Beef Ribs (you can really use any kind of beef with bones, I used ox tail & some cubed stew meat, but I will be using the ribs next time.. there WILL be a next time!)
*Russet potato, peeled & chopped
*Plantain, green, peeled & chopped (YES! It has to be green!)
*Yucca, chopped (I use the frozen kind, already peeled)
*Pumpkin, chopped (optional, I did not use pumpkin this time)
Corn kernels (frozen yellow corn works perfect)
Salt, to taste
*Chop all of these roughly the same size for even cooking.
OK, I know I didn’t put any measurements but that’s the beauty of this recipe.. there are none! You seriously can NOT mess this up! The first thing you want to do is get out the biggest soup pot you have. If you don’t have one, get one! You won’t regret it. Put the meat you chose in the pot and fill it with water. Regular, plain, no flavor water. The beef is going to do all the flavoring. Make sure you factor in some water that will evaporate during cooking. Put the pot on the stove at medium high heat until the water is at a nice, even boil. Depending on the kind of meat you buy you will notice some of the fat floating to the top as the meat cooks. You should have a slotted spoon and a small bowl of water handy to scoop any bits that float to the top. Once all the bits stop floating to the top you are ready to move on!
Add the onion flakes. Onion flakes are amazing! They are dry and weird looking one minute, then the next they are plum and magically onions! It saves tons of chopping time and they taste great. After the onions are in the water, add the potatoes, yucca, green plantains and pumpkin, if using, and salt. Once all of the veggies are cooked add the corn and cook for another 5 minutes until the corn is heated through. Check for flavor and add more salt if necessary. Then, once it’s to your desired tastyness, turn off the heat and throw in a nice handful of chopped cilantro. Viola!
The first sip of this soup brought back so many awesome memories with my family and it made me really happy that I have food to bring me back :). Do you have any foods that bring you closer to family?