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Caldo de Bolas

Becky Luigart-Stayner; Melanie J. Clarke
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup soup and 2 bolas)
Caldo de Bolas is a stuffed plantain dumpling soup found throughout Ecuador. The dumplings don't traditionally contain flour, but we found them lighter and easier to handle with some added. Use plantains that are heavily mottled and will turn black within a day or two.


  • Filling:
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Soup:
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 1/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 minced jalapeño pepper
  • 2 ripe plantains, each cut crosswise into 3 pieces
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Nutrition Information

  • calories 296
  • caloriesfromfat 33 %
  • fat 10.8 g
  • satfat 3.4 g
  • monofat 4.3 g
  • polyfat 1.8 g
  • protein 14.7 g
  • carbohydrate 37.4 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 61 mg
  • iron 2.8 mg
  • sodium 283 mg
  • calcium 48 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare filling, cook 1/4 cup onion, 1/4 cup bell pepper, and beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add garlic, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/4 cup broth, raisins, and peanut butter. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Set aside.

  2. To prepare soup, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup onion and 2/3 cup bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Add 3 1/4 cups broth, water, cumin, salt, tomatoes, and jalapeño; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add plantains, and simmer 15 minutes or until plantains are tender. Remove plantains from soup; let cool slightly.

  3. Place plantains in a large bowl; mash with a potato masher until smooth. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour to mashed plantains; stir until combined. Add egg; stir until combined. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead 3 times. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each portion into a ball. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), place dough on a floured surface. Flatten; make an indention in center using thumb. Spoon about 1 tablespoon beef mixture into indention. Gather edges to encase filling, pinching to seal. Gently roll, using both hands, to form a ball. Repeat procedure with remaining dough and beef mixture. Gently drop balls into simmering broth; cover and cook 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.