If you are visiting Colombia don’t forget to try traditional Colombian soups. We look at 12 popular Colombian soups you should try while in Colombia.
Colombians seem to love their soups, as much as they love their rice. If you are visiting Colombia, get ready to make soup a regular part of your diet.
Colombia has some delicious soups and we look at 12 of the most popular Colombian soups in this article. The soups are in alphabetical order.
Ajiaco soup is a Colombian chicken and potato soup, typically served with corn on the cob, chopped avocado, capers and a drizzle of sour cream. An important ingredient in ajiaco is guasca, which is an herb grown throughout South America.
Ajiaco soup is probably the most representative dish of Bogotá. In addition, Ajiaco has a very distinct taste and you can find it in any city in Colombia. The soup is usually served with rice and avocado on the side and a corn-on-the-cob, which is dipped into the bowl.
Many restaurants serving traditional Colombian food will have Ajiaco soup on the menu. In Medellín, Ajiacos y Mondongos in El Poblado located at Calle 8 # 42-46 has some very good Ajiaco soup in my experience.
2. Caldo de Costilla
This soup is a popular beef rib soup from Colombia that originated from the Andean region of Colombia.
Caldo de costilla is made by boiling beef ribs with potato slices, onion, carrots, garlic, and cilantro leaves.
Caldo de costilla soup is nicknamed levantamuertos (which means “wake the dead”). It is sometimes used as an aid when dealing with a hangover. Caldo de Costilla is considered a comfort food dish that is typically accompanied with a side of arepas, bread, or rice.
In addition, caldo means broth, so you can find other caldos. Some of the more common ones are caldo de costilla – beef ribs; de pescado – fish; de pollo – chicken; and de menudencias – the parts of a chicken you didn’t know were edible, like the feet.
3. Cazuela de Mariscos (Seafood Casserole)
Cazuela de Mariscos is a seafood casserole with coconut milk that is typical dish found along the coast in Colombia. Several types of seafood are normally found in this casserole including shrimp, prawns, clams, octopus and fish fillets.
Some restaurants in Medellín serving traditional Colombian food will have cazuela de mariscos on the menu. Three of the best seafood restaurants in Medellín all have good cazuela de mariscos in my experience: El Barco, Donde Bupos and Lo Exquisito del Mar.
This traditional Colombian soup is a popular breakfast soup. Changua is especially popular in the colder, mountainous parts of Colombia, where it is consumed for breakfast to help the inhabitants warm up and start the day off with a hearty meal.
This soup is made with boiled water and milk, green onions, coriander, parsley, and an egg that is cracked into the liquid as it cooks. The egg cooks on the soup’s surface with its yolk intact. And this soup is normally served with arepas or bread on the side.
Changua has become a popular soup throughout Colombia, especially on holidays and weekends, after a rough night out. Changua is said to be a good hangover cure.
5. Frijoles Antioqueños or Cazuela de Frijoles
This hearty soup or casserole is a hearty mix of delicious beans, normally with plátano, carrots or corn and bacon.
Frijoles Antioqueños or cazuela de frijoles are typically served with rice or arepas or aguacate. This is one of my favorite soups of Colombia and I really like the cazuela de frijoles at El Rancherito.
6. Mazamorra Chiquita
This traditional Colombian soup reportedly originated from the Boyacá department in Colombia.
Although the ingredients of Mazamorra Chiquita may vary, it’s usually prepared with a combination of beef ribs, tripe, lima beans, onions, corn, green peas, garlic, pepper, cumin and a few varieties of potatoes. This soup is slowly simmered until the potatoes and tripe are very tender.
Before serving, we recommended adjusting the seasonings according to personal preferences. This hearty soup can be prepared at home or enjoyed at some Colombian restaurants. Also, this soup can be found at street kiosks in Colombia.
Mondongo soup is served in most traditional Colombian restaurants. Mondongo soup is made from diced tripe (typically the stomach of a cow), which is slow-cooked with chicken or beef stock, cilantro, and many vegetables such as peas, carrots and onions.
This soup is a hearty dish and is sometimes the soup course in a traditional almuerzo (lunch) meal in Colombia.
You can find Mondongo soup at many Colombian restaurants in Medellín. And probably the most famous place in Medellín to find this soup is at Mondongo’s restaurant.
8. Mote de Queso
This traditional Colombian soup originated in the Atlantic Coast area of the country. Mote de queso is made with a combination of yams, salty and crumbly Costeño cheese, onions, garlic, scallions, tomatoes, cumin, and lime juice.
There are many variations on the soup many Colombian families have their own recipe. Once cooked, the soup should have a creamy consistency, with small and tender yam chunks.
You can find this soup throughout Colombia but it is more common on the coast. This popular soup is often served with fried plátano on the side.
Another hearty soup in Colombia is Sancocho. This soup is based on the Spanish cocido and is popular in most countries in South America, with some regional variations.
In Colombia, the ingredients vary depending on the region of the country. On the Caribbean coast, fish is frequently used instead of chicken, beef or pork.
This soup is almost a stew because it can have a base of chicken, pork or beef rib, or fish. Vegetables are then added including plátano, potatoes, cassava, corn-on-the-cob, tomato and cilantro.
Sancocho is typically served with white rice, which may be a side dish or added to the soup. You can find Sancocho in many restaurants in Medellín serving typical Colombian food.
10. Sopa de Lentejas
This popular soup is a staple in many Colombian kitchens. Sopa de lentejas is Colombian-style lentil soup that has Colombian chorizo sausage, which gives the soup extra flavor.
This soup is made with lentils, chorizo sausage, potatoes, onions, carrots, cilantro and tomatoes.
This is a delicious Colombian soup. It is typically served with white rice, avocado and a salad.
11. Sopa de Patacón
If you’re looking for a good soup that is simple to make and easy on the budget, I highly recommend this Latin classic fried green plantain soup.
Sopa de patacón is a popular Colombian soup made with fried plantains as the star ingredient. In addition to plantains, the soup contains beef broth, oil, onions, bell peppers, scallions, garlic, cumin, and achiote and is normally garnished with chopped cilantro.
This soup typically comes with white rice and diced avocado on the side.
12. Sopa de Plátano
Sopa de Plátano (Patacones) is very popular and is considered a traditional soup in Colombia. It is simple, easy to make, and delicious.
This soup is made with green plátanos, peeled and cut into small pieces. In addition, this soup is typically made with chicken broth minced onions and minced garlic, green onion, salt, pepper, cumin powder with cilantro to garnish.
Medellin Guru’s Guide to Colombian Food and Drinks
On the Medellin Guru website, we have six articles covering Colombian food and drinks:
- 16 Traditional Colombian Food Dishes You Must Try in Colombia
- 16 Colombian Street Food Options You Really Must Try
- 16 Popular Colombian Desserts You Must Try While in Colombia
- 30 Exotic Tropical Fruits of Colombia a Fruit Lovers Paradise
- 13 Traditional Colombian Drinks to Try When You Visit
- 12 Popular Colombian Soups to Try When You Visit Colombia
The Bottom Line: Popular Colombian Soups to Try When You Visit
The Colombian soups in this article are some of the most popular soups that you are likely to encounter in Colombia.
Many of the Colombian restaurants in Medellín and other cities in Colombia will normally have some of these soups available. So, when you go to a Colombian restaurant you will have a choice of Colombian soups to try.
How many of the above Colombian soups have you tried? And do you see any popular Colombian soups we missed? Please let us know in the comments below.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.
Editors note: updated on April 16, 2021 to add Sopa de Plátano.