Caldo De Bolas De Verde - Green Plantain Dumpling Soup

READY IN: 3hrs
SERVES: 8-10




  • Heat the butter over medium heat in a large pot, make a refrito or base for the broth by adding the diced onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell pepper, cumin, achiote, cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper.
  • Add the 10 cups of water/broth, the beef bones, the meat chunks, and plantains pieces.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce temperature and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the yuca pieces and continue simmering for another 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.
  • Add the carrots, corn and cabbage, cook for another 15 minutes or until all the ingredients are fully cooked.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool until safe to handle, then remove the bones from the broth and discard them.
  • Remove the meat, carrots, corn and yucas from the broth, leave the plantains in the broth until ready to use them – keeping them in the broth will prevent them from drying out and make it easier to mash them.
  • Remove the meat and chop it into very small pieces.
  • Cut the cooked carrots into small pieces.
  • Remove the strings from the yuca and cut them into small bite size pieces.
  • Chop the cooked cabbage and cut the corn in smaller slices; reserve the corn, yuca and cabbage for later.
  • To make the meat filling for the green banana balls or dumplings make a refrito or base by heating the butter or oil over medium heat, add the onions, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, cumin, achiote and salt.
  • Add the chopped meat, carrots, peas and cilantro.
  • Mix in the peanut butter and 4 tbs of the broth, as well as the raisins and hard boiled eggs if using, mix all the ingredients well and save the filling until needed.
  • Meanwhile remove the plantains from the broth and mix them in the food processor until a sticky dough is obtained.
  • Mix the cooked plantain dough with the grated raw plantains, the eggs and some salt and pepper, you can either mix these by hand or in the food processor.
  • Using your hands, try to keep them wet, form the plantain dough into medium to large sized balls, stuff each one with a generous spoonful or two of the meat filling.
  • Strain the broth and return to the heat until it boils, reduce to a simmer and add the dumplings, cook over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, be very careful not to stir the soup to avoid breaking the dumplings.
  • Using a ladle remove the dumplings from the soup and place them on a plate.
  • Add the chopped yuca, chopped cabbage, corn slices and any leftover filling back to the broth, cook until all the ingredients are re-warmed.
  • Add the finely chopped cilantro to the broth.
  • Place a green plantain dumpling or two in each bowl; add a ladleful of broth with yuca, cabbage and corn.
  • Serve with lime slices, aji and pickled onions.