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Ok, this was one large pot of sancoche (pronounced sang- koch) that we made and I was so gree….(Uh!)… hungry… Yes! I was so hungry that I had more than one bowl.  And, with salt beef and pigtail in the pot along with all those provision, I just couldn’t resist.  Sancoche is one of our favourite homemade soup that is made in Trinidad and Tobago. Along with its signature provision, split peas and salted meats like pigtail, smoked bone and salted pickled beef, sancoche also has lots of vegetables making it a very healthy soup. And, a very filling soup at that too.

Soups and Sancoche

Of all the soup recipes we have here in Trinidad and Tobago, I believe this my favourite…(thinking to myself: or is it? We have corn soup and fish broth to contend with still hmmm!...) Then again I can’t really make up my mind because they all taste great. Usually a meal prepared on the weekend (Saturday) sancoche, just like pelau and callaloo, is distinctly Trinidadian and more so Caribbean.

Although this sancoche recipe has all these ingredients, a sancoche to me doesn’t really have one set recipe. A sancoche is really a soup with odds and ends of ingredients all thrown together to make a healthy soup: possibly an invented soup out of necessity! So you see there is a lot of room for variations…just don’t forget the provision and, my favourite, salt beef and pigtail..OK! OK! I’m a meat mouth…Who say smoke bone! lol! :-)

If you’re new to this sancoche recipe I suggest you start out simple, then as you get the hang of it you could add your own style to it, but as a rule make sure you have the provision and split peas since this is a thick soup and not a broth. So, are you ready to make a nice Trini sancoche? Let’s get started. Here’s Sancoche, an easy soup recipe from my kitchen to yours. Enjoy!

Sancoche Recipe




1/2 lb. split peas (1 cup), soaked overnight
1/2 lb. salt beef, chopped into 2 inch pieces and boiled for half an hour
1/2 lb. pigtail, chopped into 2 inch pieces and boiled for half an hour
1/2 lb. pumpkin, peeled and chopped
1 lb. eddoes, peeled and chopped
1 lb. dasheen, peeled and chopped
1 lb. yam, peeled and chopped
1 hand green fig (green bananas), peeled and chopped
4 ochroes, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
8 dasheen bush leaves (rolled bush), chopped
2 pimento peppers, chopped
5 leaves chadon beni, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp. roucou
1 litre water
salt to taste
1/2 hot pepper
1 cup coconut milk


Dasheen bush (taro leaves)

I just wanted to show you all how to peel green fig (banana). Now on to the recipe.

Cut up the ingredients and set aside.

Add the boiled salt beef and pig tail to the split peas and pressure cook for 30 minutes.

Note:Add enough water to cover the salt beef and pig tail.

Swizzle with a dhal gutney.
Remove the salt beef and pigtail and set aside.
In a large pot saute the onion, garlic and pimento pepper.
Add the roucou….
…and the salt beef and pigtail.
Allow to cook for 2 minutes while stirring frequently.
Add the dasheen bush (taro leaves)…
…and cook for another 2 minutes or until the leaves wilt like in the picture.
Add carrot, ochro, pumpkin and provision (green fig {banana}, eddoes, yam and dasheen).

Note:Other provision can be used such as cassava, cush cush, tannia, and plantain.

Add the split peas and coconut milk.

Allow to simmer

Stir the sancoche occasionally so that the provision would not stick to the bottom of the pot.
While the provision is cooking be sure to add enough water from time to time.
Add the chadon beni and celery and hot pepper.

The sancoche looks almost ready!
Test the provision to see if it is cooked. This eddoes looks alright!
The sancoche looks finished now. Remove the hot pepper and adjust salt if desired. Serve hot.
So you see how easy this soup was and you also have the recipe just in time for the weekend. This week seemed like the week for long recipes. I hope you all didn’t mind :-) As usual, more recipes to come. This is yuh boy sayin’ “crick crack monkey break he back on ah piece ah pommerac” LOL!! When last you heard those words?……

Ah gone! :-)

You still here? :-)   Enjoy your sancoche.



  1. says

    That’s interesting, because here in Colombia there is a soup called “Sancocho” and it has all kinds of things as well, mainly starchy vegetables like potato, yam, yuca (tapioca), plantain, corncob-pieces and lots of meat + tomato, peppers…well really anything you want to put.
    (I of course have only eaten the vegetarian version :P)
    There is even a tradition here in which the children go from house to house asking for vegetables and everybody gives them a potato, a carrot etc and in the end the kids cook a big pot of Sancocho.

  2. says

    You’re right Foehre. The name comes from the Spanish influence in the country. And it is just the same: a soup with all kind of ingredients basically anything you can get your hands on :-)

  3. says

    Thanks for this great recipe! As a Trini who left the country at 9 for America, I have been struggling to re-connect with the foods I loved so much as a child. My Mom has an American husband so it was mainly American “food” since then. I’m a Mom now and am introducing my kids to my real culture as I remember it. Thanks for the help! Blessings.

  4. Vanessa says

    Oh lord, ah reading this at work and it making meh hungry. Ah think ah making this for dinner, it have all kinda ting leave from christmas and new years in de freezer.
    My daughter calls this the everything, but the kitchen sink soup. Since we live in New York, i make this soup almost every weekend; never the same just leftovers from the week, a piece a pigtail from de callaloo, some chicken, piece a pork, ham bone, whatever ah find in de freezer.
    One really cold day, I took some for our priest, he said it reminded him of home and he’s from Nigeria……

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