Skip to content

Porotos Con Riendas (Chilean Bean and Pumpkin Soup)

January 17, 2011

I came across this recipe here last year while looking for ways to use pumpkins.  I was instantly intrigued – not only because it came from Chile, a country whose cuisine I am completely unfamiliar with, but also because of the unusual combination of ingredients – pumpkin, beans, AND spaghetti?  Plus, the thought of paprika and oregano just got my mouth watering, so I decided I had to try it.

The unusual combination of ingredients is also a window into the history of the region.  Beans and pumpkin are staples of the Mapuche, an indigenous people from Southern Chile, and the use of pasta and love of soup comes from European immigrants.  The soup most likely dates back to the mid 19th century, when the newly arrived settlers adapted their culinary traditions to the local ingredients.

I have an uncle living in Chile, so I emailed him to ask if he had ever had Porotos con Riendas”.  His reply, “Yes, great soup for a winter’s nights meal, with sausages in it.”  The original recipe I found was a vegetarian version, but it did mention that you could add sausage.  Being a fan of the meat myself, I decided to make the version with sausage.  Glad I did too – the soup was delicious – hearty, warm, filling and very unique.

About a week ago, the cold started getting to me, and I remembered the Porotos con Riendas.  So I dug out the recipe, and this time looked at it through a nutritionist’s lens.  It passed with flying colors – this is a soup that is loaded with stuff your body wants and needs.  It is packed with protein, fiber and has a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.  Butternut squash is an good source of Vitamin E, Calcium, Magnesium, and many of the B Vitamins.  It also has Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium.  The carrots, garlic and onions add even more vitamins and minerals to keep you strong on those cold winter nights.  Unfortunately some of the B and C vitamins are destroyed during the cooking process, but the other vitamins and minerals will still be preserved.

Without further ado, here is my adapted version of Porotos con Riendas.  If you want a vegetarian version, just leave out the meat and use veggie broth instead.

Porotos con Riendas

  • 1 1/2 cups dried white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini)
  • 1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bullion cube, chicken, beef or vegetable
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lb kielbasa, andouille or other smoked sausage, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes (optional, if you like a more spicy stew)
  • 1/4 lb whole wheat spaghetti, broken in half

    From my image search, I deduced that it is also served like this.

  • salt to taste
  1. Place beans in a large bowl and cover with plenty of water.  Soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
  2. Drain beans and put in a large pot.  Add enough water to cover the beans.  Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 1 hour, or until beans are almost done.  (cooking time will vary depending on the size of the beans you use.)  Add water during cooking if needed; beans should always be covered.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add sausage, onion, garlic, carrot, oregano and paprika, and saute for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. When the beans are almost done, add the squash and the bullion cube.  Add more water if needed. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add spaghetti to the pot and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the spaghetti is nearly done.
  6. Add sauteed onion mixture to the pot.  Stir well and salt to taste.  Serve with crusty bread or brown rice.


- You can use canned beans instead of dried.  If you do, simmer pumpkin alone in broth for 5 minutes, then add spaghetti and cook for 8-10 minutes, then add beans.

- Most stores carry pre-cut butternut squash.  This saves a ton of time!


About these ads
8 Comments leave one →
  1. Soup Stud permalink
    January 20, 2011 8:29 am

    This sounds amazing! I live in the mountains and we get pretty chilly in the winter. Soups and whiskey help ward off flus and bugs. I’m healthy as a horse, can I have another bowl??

  2. Merkalee permalink
    January 26, 2011 6:11 pm

    Making it now and it smells amazing… Can’t wait till it’s done :) The BF is picking up some crusty bread to eat it with.

    • Merkalee permalink
      January 26, 2011 6:46 pm

      Update: soup is done and seriously delicious and hearty. This is going to be a cold weather fav – as much for the ease of preparation as for the flavor.!

  3. Rose Chacana permalink
    November 8, 2011 8:13 pm

    This is a very yummy and delicious cold weather easy to make meal from Chile. Hope you try it and like it…

  4. November 16, 2011 2:44 pm

    I had this in Chile. It is surprisingly delicious for such an odd combo.

  5. Marcie permalink
    December 11, 2011 2:43 pm

    The little detail left out if the basil! Dry or fresh…no good cook in Chile would leave it out! I love this soup and I am actually making it tonight for diner…cold Seattle nights!

  6. Carlos permalink
    April 2, 2012 3:01 pm

    That was sooo yumy, and since I read some of the comments before; I added spinach, for color and basil to make Marcie(above)happy…wow! It took me back to my native Chile.

  7. Jade permalink
    May 1, 2013 9:08 pm

    I’m making this gorgeous dish tonight. I’m going to include some beautiful pieces of organic leg ham and use barossa chorizo for the smokey sausage flavour. Thanks for the basil tip I’ll make sure I add this too :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: