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Recipe for Latin American Sancocho


Sancocho Recipe from the galley of the Safari Voyager

Here at UnCruise Adventures, we use locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and always try to base our recipes off the regions in which we sail. On our trips in Costa Rica and Panama, that means serving delicious sanchoco.

Sancocho is one of the most well-known Latin American soups, and there are many different varieties of it. The flavor and contents of sancocho not only differ from country to country but also from chef to chef. The word “sancocho” derives from the Spanish verb “sancochar” which means “to parboil.”

Sancocho is a very thick soup made with root vegetables and different kinds of meats in a broth, usually flavored with herbs (cilantro or parsley), and combined with achiote (annatto paste), garlic, onion, scallions and bell peppers. It is almost a stew, but still considered a soup.

Every sancocho you try may be different from the last and unique in its own right. Aboard the Safari Voyager, sancocho is always served once during the week. Everyone loves to take the recipe and try it at home, so we figured it was about time to feature it in our blog. Enjoy!


  • 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 Habanero chile, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • One 3-4 lb 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 into 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 stock, 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.

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