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Asopao de Gandules (Con Bolitas de Platanos)

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

We love cooking with gandules (pigeon peas), it is such a traditional Puerto Rican legume. We have so many different ways of cooking it, today we show you how to make a pigeon peas soup. This is not just any soup, it has chicken, veggies, plantains, rice and pigeon peas. This is actually a full meal in one pot. It's super easy and so delicious!



2 tbs oil

5 chicken wings

1/2 cup sofrito

1 tbs sazon

1 can tomato sauce

1 lbs dried pigeon peas (soaked overnight)

6 cups water

2 c Chicken broth

½ c Chopped cilantro

¼ c olives

1 c chopped squash

½ c rice

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

Bolitas de Platanos

2 plantains

1 tbs achiotte oil

½ tsp salt

1 tbs flour


The first thing we are going to do is make our bolitas de platanos. These are effectively a dumpling, made from grated plantains that have been seasoned with salt and achiote oil and thickened with flour.

Start by peeling your plantains. We’ve done this in alot of our earlier videos so I won’t belabor the point. Just use a knife to score the plantain’s skin in three or four places. Then use your fingers to pull back the skin, along these lines. Repeat for both plantains.

Once you plantains are peeled, we are going to grate them. You could use a food process for this if you want, but given that there’s only two, I figure it will be just as fast with a hand grater. Make sure to use the smallest holes available.

Once your plantains are all grated, move them into a bowl and we can begin preparing the bolitas.

To your grated plantains, add 1 tbs of achiote oil and mix together thoroughly, so the oil is evenly distributed through your plantains. This achiote oil will stain anything it touches, so just be careful as you are working with it. Once the oil is mixed in, add your salt and your flour and mix it all together, forming a loose dough. Make sure to mix your dough until there are no more clumps of flour.

Once your dough is formed, go ahead and shape it into small balls, about 1 tablespoon in volume. These don’t need to be perfect spheres, so just roll them together loosely in your palms.

Ok, now on to the soup. We are going to start by slowly cooking our chicken wings to release all of their flavor. In a large pot set to medium low heat, add you oil and chicken wings. Turn your chicken wings from time to time, really letting them cook down. You’ll know they are getting there when the skin from the wings is falling off and getting stuck to the pan. This means all of the connective tissue is dissolving and will help flavor and thicken our asopao. This could take 10-15 minutes.

Once the chicken wings have cooked down and are getting really tender, add your onions and garlic and saute them in the chicken juices. Once your onions are translucent, add your sofrito and continue sauteing, letting all those great flavors merge together.

Finally, add your tomato sauce, your olives, and your adobo, mixing to combine. Let this mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes, allowing it reduce some.

Then add your squash and your rice. And last, but not least, your gandules.

With almost all of your solid ingredients in your pot, add your chicken stock and water and give it a stir to make sure everything is evenly distributed.

Now you are ready to add your bolitas de platanos you shaped earlier. Gently set each bolita in the pot. These will get harder as they cook, but right now they are a little fragile so be careful not to break them as you add them.

Now, with all your ingredients in your pot, put on the lid and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat.

Check your soup from time to time to make sure that it doesn’t get too low on water. If so, just add a little bit of water and turn down the heat.

You’ll know the asopao is ready to eat when your squash if fork tender and your gandules are all cooked through.

At that point, check your asopao for salt and add salt as needed. If you want your asopao thicker, you can also cook it on high, uncovered for a little more time to evaporate some more water.

Once your asopao is how you want it, add some chopped fresh cilantro to the top and give it a quick mix. You are now ready to eat!

Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.

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