Sopa Boba (Dominican Vegetable Soup) is an easy recipe for a lighter, meatless alternative to other soups in our blog. A nourishing and comforting food with deep roots in our cuisine, it is an inexpensive, uncomplicated soup that will be great for vegans and meat-eaters alike.
By- Last reviewed . Published Dec 21, 2001
Why we ❤️ it
Sopa Boba is one of the stars of Dominican cuisine, a simple, light vegetable soup that, more often than not, we use when in need of comfort or nourishing sustenance. It's also a dish with a curious name.
In Spanish, the word boba(o) can be used to describe someone who is "simple" or of limited intellectual capacity.
The Spanish "sopa boba" was a soup made with leftover food from convents around the thirteenth century and given to the destitute as a charity. The ingredients were of dubious provenance, and the flavor was lacking. It was a dish made strictly for sustenance and survival.
Sopa boba dominicana.
Dominican sopa boba
The name may be taken from that old Spanish soup, but our sopa boba has little in common with that unglamorous concoction. What makes ours "boba" is the lack of meat in it, but there is a wealth of flavor and vegetables, some of which were not available to Spaniards in those days (yuca [cassava], for example).
It is most commonly associated with times in which we needed recovery and given credit for being of easy digestion. It can also be served as a light dinner, or at least that's how we did in my extended family.
- Typically we use pineapple vinegar in the DR (it's cheaper, I guess), but apple cider vinegar is fine too.
- You may substitute cilantro for parsley if you prefer.
About this recipe
The common element in any sopa boba served in the Dominican Republic will be the lack of any meat. It's one of our quintessential vegan recipes. Adding any meat to it will make it into an altogether different dish. It also always have noodles (angel's hair).
Having said that, each home and each cook will have their preferred vegetables, usually yuca, auyama, and potatoes. Others will depend on availability and preference.
Do you add anything to your sopa boba that ours doesn't have? Share it in the comments.
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Sopa Boba [Recipe + Video] Vegetable Soup
- 1 quart vegetable broth, [1 liter]
- 1 tablespoon fruit vinegar
- 1 cup potatoes, cut into small cubes
- 2 sprigs of thyme, (optional)
- 7 allspice berries (malagüeta), (optional)
- 1 cup yuca (cassava), (cassava) cut into small cubes
- 1 celery stalk, , sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, , sliced
- 1 cup auyama (kabocha squash), (West Indies pumpkin) cut into small cubes
- 1 cup angel hair noodles
- 1 sprig of cilantro, , chopped
- ¼ teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground)
- 1 teaspoon salt
1. Boiling the vegetables
- Mix in a pot vegetable broth, 1 qt of water [1 liter], vinegar, potatoes, thyme, allspice berries, yuca, celery, garlic, and auyama.Bring to a boil over medium heat until it breaks a boil.
2. Cooking the noodles
- Add the noodles and stir.Cook covered over medium heat until all the ingredients are cooked throughout. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
- Add cilantro and season with pepper and salt to taste. Discard allspice berries.
- Serve hot alongside toasted rustic bread or pan de agua.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.