Sopa de Res

I’m not usually one to deprive Carlos of a food he is craving if it’s in my abilities to make it. As old-fashioned as it may seem, making food for Carlos and the boys and watching them enjoy it is one of my favorite things. That being said, when Carlos requested Sopa de Res the other day, (something I make for the family often in the winter) I found it strange enough that I didn’t want to make it.

“Sopa de res?” I said, “But it’s summertime! It’s hot out!”

“What’s wrong with that?” Carlos said.

“You don’t eat stew in the summer – that’s just weird. Soups and stews are for fall and winter. They warm you up and comfort you when you’re cold.”

“Well, I don’t think like that,” Carlos reminded me. “In El Salvador the weather is always hot so when are we supposed to eat soup?”

I realized he had a point and bought what I needed to make Sopa de Res on Friday. As I make it right now, the weather seems to have obliged with my “soup eating rules.” It has been cold and rainy all weekend.

sopa de res caldo



1 to 2 lbs. stew meat
2 tablespoons Canola oil
salt, pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
14 oz. chunky salsa (whichever kind you like)
1 to 2 cups baby carrots
2 cups chopped potatoes (whichever kind you like)
2 to 3 corn cobs broken in thirds, (1 cup frozen/canned corn can be substituted)
1/2 small cabbage chopped in wedges

sliced pickled jalapeños
handful fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
fresh lime wedges


Brown meat and onion in oil in a large soup pot. Season with salt and pepper.

Add broth and salsa. Meat should be slightly covered, if not, add water until it is.

Bring to a boil then lower heat. Simmer, loosely covered until meat is cooked and tender.

Add carrots and potatoes – Continue simmering until these are tender.

Add corn cobs. Simmer until corn is cooked.

Add cabbage and cook until tender, (not soggy!)

Ladle into bowls. Add cilantro to each bowl. Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze on top and warm homemade tortillas. If you like it spicy, add some pickled jalapeños.

Recipe adapted from: Caldo de Res


  1. I do the same thing, make winter food and summer food! Yesterday though, I made a roast beef dinner and homemade bread and cinnamon buns. That’s winter food but oh man, it was so good!

    • That sounds good!… Can you believe they’re saying we might get a little snow today? I think that making the soup caused this LOL

  2. Muy Interesante Tracy… Es diferente al modo que yo la hago. But i will try this variation next time…

    A mi me encantan las sopas, my ultimate favorite is de res.

    After reading your post, The way i do it seems plain. pero still bien gustosa,
    Yo uso hueso chamorro, i think its the shank in english. jajaja. I boil the meat en la olla filled with water con dos ajos y media cebolla y un tomate. cuando esta cocida, which can take some time, i keep poking it the fork to make sure… ( i add consome de pollo, aun que es res, le da un buen sabor… my mom does this so haci le hago yo.. jajaja) i add the veggies of course in order of what cooks the slowest pa ke nada turn out mushy, The veggies i use are yucca, elote, guisquil, pipian, y repollo. ya cuando its time to eat, i chop onion and at it to each plate.. y el cilantro si es ke kieren…..

    for chile, i also learned from my mom… Chile habanero. We love spicy so habaneros are perfect. I crush raw habaneros in a little bowl, con limon. And add that to the soup. Very spicy… Pero mi sopa cuando termina, tiene color casi verde, osea no verde verde, but i guess because of the veggies i use, its closer to the green side of things….

    HAve you ever had sopa de pata? I know sounds gross, but es bien sabrosa. I personally don’t eat the tripa y la pata, but the veggies and the broth con limon con tortilla echa a mano. Delicious!

    • Thanks for sharing your version in case anyone wants to try it! … I’ve been looking at different sopa/caldo/sancochado/sancocho recipes from all over Latin America and there are so many delicious variations. Next time I would like to use yucca instead of potato and add platanos!

      As for whether I’ve had sopa de pata and tripas — I have eaten a lot of things – but not because I wanted to! Sometimes I was simply the guest at someone’s house and they served something which I ate ignorantly not knowing what it was, or, once I found out, had to eat just to be polite jajajaja. This has happened with pig feet, a soup with tiny chicken feet, tripas, venado, conejo, lengua … And a Korean friend once told me I was eating dog when he shared his lunch. I’m pretty sure he was joking but he never would tell me if it was a joke or not. LOL. Sometimes it’s better just not to know!

  3. Yours sounds really good!
    My mom uses cabbage, tomatoe, potatoe, yuca, string beans, onion, platanos, and corn. For meat she uses ox-tail.
    You have one spoiled hubby, I hope I’ll find a Latina or latinaish wife like you one day!
    My mom said you look pretty by the way!

    • Ox tail is one thing I’ve never tried and I don’t even know where I could buy it here! Thanks for sharing your mother’s recipe and also for your very kind comment. You made my day! :)

  4. I don´t eat meat, but I do remember this stew from my Abuelita´s house when I was a kid. And although I was quite melindrosa (picky eater!) and wouldn´t eat the meat or la médula (si, my abuelita would put pieces of bone marrow in it) I would fish out all the bolitas de masa that were in it. Yummmm!!!

    She would take masa para tortillas and make small balls and throw them in the stew to cook along with everything else. DE-LI-CIO-SO! I guess you could call it the Mexican version of a matzo ball soup! Hahahaha!!!
    Un abrazo amiga!

    • Ja! Before I got to the end of your comment I was thinking exactly of that! (matzo ball soup) :) … I will have to try that sometime – I’ve never seen it done with tortilla masa.

  5. My husband made sopa de pata the other night and it was enough to feed a small army. Everyone came over. He loves that stuff.

  6. In our Honduran Latina-ish house we add pataste, which is chayote squash if you’re not Honduran! We also add yucca, platano, and sometimes camote (sweet potato). Que rico! Love your blog!

  7. My husband and I made this soup last night for dinner, wow! It was delicious, thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Instead of vegetable broth we used beef bouillon cubes and added these funny looking green bananas. I still can’t believe I finished 2 bowls of the soup, nap time!

  8. My mamá used to make sopa de res, and let tell you the ingredients. Short ribs, platanos verdes y amarilos, pipianes( similar to zucchini),corn, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, onions, garlic, carrots, and the most principal ingredients Yuca (mucha) y cilantro y un poquito de calories de res.
    Each serving should have one piece of each ingredients.
    I am from San Alejo, La Union, El Salvador

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