While doing some shopping in my neck of the woods, I remembered that not too far away there is this wonderful little Venezuelan restaurant called “EL Cocotero” located on 18th street between Seventh and Eighth Avenue, NYC.  All of a sudden I thought of their “Sancocho”.  This soup is made with short beef ribs, big fat carrots, potatoes, corn and yuca adding lots of cilantro and lime.  As I sat there eating my sancocho and arepas I became so nostalgic.  I felt as if I was in a movie…every spoonful was a memory of my childhood, my nana who would cook this soup for us, the loss of my Dad. The sadness was overwhelming, but the soup was comforting and cleansing.

This soup will warm your insides, cure what ails you and definitely take care of a hangover.

Today I am recreating it to share with you.


12 cups of water
about 3 pounds of beef ribs
8 sprigs of cilantro, plus more for garnish
8 sprigs of parsley
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 medium onion, cut in half
4 garlic cloves
4 celery ribs cut in half
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium size yuca, peeled, cut as shown (or you can use frozen)
3 large carrots, sliced 1 inch thick
3 potatoes
3 ears of corn cut into 2 inch pieces
1 avocado
1 tomato


In a large pot add the beef, onions, garlic, sprigs of cilantro and parsley, bay leaves and water.  Cook at medium high heat for about 90 minutes making sure that you skim the surface to remove film.  Remove meat and set aside.  Drain your stock and return to pot with meat, and all veggies.  Cook until vegetables  are tender.

Plate with a wedge of tomato, avocado, lime, cilantro and a couple of arepas.



This entry was posted in Latin Contemporary, Latin Traditional, Soups - Cold/Hot, Venezuela. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Joan Nova says:

    Wow…that really looks good! I love the addition of fresh ingredients, especially the aguacate. Muy bien hecho!

  2. Katie says:

    That looks so hearty and delicious, and the best part is that I can actually find all of the ingredients here in Argentina (well, maybe not cilantro, but I’m not a huge fan anyway)! We’re heading into colder weather, so I’ll definitely give this one a whirl.

  3. Laz says:

    Sweet post. We all have those dishes that transport us to special times and remind of loved ones. Can certainly relate Norma. Tremendo sancocho. What’s not to like? Add to that some fantastic photogrpahy. Job well done.

  4. I’ve had a similar soup at a Venezuelan cafe near where my boyfriend lives. Love it!

  5. Joanne Ozug says:

    Aww…it’s amazing how food can remind us of memories and others. Great looking soup, and I especially love yuca!

  6. bellini says:

    I love dishes that evoke childhood memories. For me it would be Yorkshire Pudding and homemade bread.

  7. Lea Ann says:

    What a beautiful looking soup! Love the photos. I’ve never cooked with yuca and Venezuelan food is completely new for me. Wish we had a restaurant here in Denver.

  8. What comforting-looking soup! And your presentation and photos are gorgeous.

  9. What a glorious childhood memory to have, and I love the addition of the avocado. It’s a feast in one bowl.

  10. That looks mouthwatering! What a fresh mix of flavours!

  11. Ginny says:

    This looks so good! Soup is our favorite food, even in hot weather.

  12. Ben says:

    Sancocho, even the name sounds yummy and warm. I wanna visit New York in the winter now so I can have this to warm me up, hehe

  13. Oh, Norma, how did you know I needed a bowl of this today? So comforting, I would love this right now, and will think of your family with each spoonful.

  14. Erica says:

    I love sancocho and your version is similar to the Colombian sancocho!It looks delicious!

  15. Nydia says:

    It’s quite similar to the Sancochado we have here in Peru, some ingredients are different but it’s quite similar. I can’t wait to be in winter to have one.

  16. Oh Norma, it wounds wonderful – cilantro and lime…yum. And I can imagine the nostalgic moments – food has a way of doing that to you! LOL

  17. noobcook says:

    your soup looks rich and wholesome, must be very comforting.

  18. Mary says:

    It certainly sounds delicious.The colors in that last photo are truly riveting and it has been my experience that anything that looks that good tastes good as well. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  19. Karen says:

    We lived in the Dominican Republic for six months and there was a small restaurant that only made sancocho…it was delicious. Now I can recreate the dish.

  20. Patty says:

    Wow! Your soup looks good! Isn’t it wonderful how the look and taste of something so simple such as your lovely soup can transport us back through time with such powerful memories;-). I would love a bowl right now, the slice of avocado, lime with fresh herbs is calling to me!

  21. Spanish Recipes

    From Nuria –
    I couldn’t leave a message in your blog post, but here is what I wanted to say:
    It’s amazing how flavors and aromas can take us back in time! The soup looks soooo deliciosa . Thanks for sharing, dear.

  22. What a hearty bowl of soup Norma! So delicious and fun to eat. Food is so full of memories. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

  23. I need this badly!! I’m hungry and your photo has made me hungrier even…..
    Yuca, I have never eaten that…a must try!

  24. This looks delicious and unique as well. I’ve never made something like this before. But, there is a first time for everything. So, I’m off to the store to get the ingredients to make it.


    Grandma Kat

  25. What a great soup! It looks so good.



  26. Joanne says:

    What a hearty and delicious soup! This sounds wonderful.

  27. Never tried the sancocho venezolano – looks very tempting now the cold days are coming on this area 🙂

    For me is more than a meaty-soup is like a guiso, called here 😉

    Have a great week,


  28. Romance Reader Enthusiast says:

    I’m not a beef eater but it looks so good I may still give it a try. Or even change the beef out for something else. Yum 🙂

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