Fall is here and you know what that means…winter is around the corner plus it's the season for root vegetables and squash. There is nothing more comforting than eating a hearty meal that warms you up when the weather is cold. If you're looking for something warm and hearty to eat then look no further than having some sancocho. Sancocho is a chunky stew that consists of a variety of root vegetables, plantains, pumpkin, peppers, meat, corn and either sofrito or recao seasoning. Traditionally sancocho is made in one big pot and is intended to feed a lot of people. Every Latin country has their own version of sancocho but most recipes are similar to one another.
My sancocho recipe comes from my grandmother’s recipe with one major difference, mine doesn't have any meat in it. Sancocho can be made with either chicken, pork or beef. Instead, I decided to use seitan which is a substitution for meat that kind of resembles beef. Seitan (pronounced say-tahn) comes from wheat gluten and is made from the protein part of the wheat therefore making it high in protein. It is known as wheat meat in the vegetarian world for its “meaty” texture.
You can never go wrong with the assortment of vegetables that can be added to a sancocho. You can mix in your favorite vegetables or ones you've never tried before. This recipe includes several popular Latin vegetables such as yuca (cassava), taro root (yautía), plantains (platanos), pumpkin (calabaza) and white yams (ñame blanco) that are delectable on their own and even better when cooked together. I enjoy making this recipe because it brings some of the essential Latin ingredients and seasoning together in one pot giving you a taste of what the Latin culture is all about…flavor!
Note: If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy then omit the seitan from this recipe.
Vegan Sancocho (Root Vegetable Soup)
Get the printable recipe here.
Yield: 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil or water
3 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion diced
½ cup recao
1 packet seitan drained
2 quarts low sodium vegetable stock or water
½ green pepper chopped
½ pumpkin (calabaza) peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 taro root (yautía) peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 white yam (ñame blanco) peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cassava (yuca) peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 green plantain peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 ears corn cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup tomato sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium high heat.
2. Add the seitan and cook until it is browned.
3. Add the recao, onions, garlic and green peppers and sauté until softened. If you do not want to cook with the oil, you can sauté these ingredients in a few tablespoons of water.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with the water or vegetable stock. If the water or vegetable stock does not cover all of the ingredients add more until it does. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 35-45 minutes or until all of the vegetables are soft.