Vegetarian Sancocho
Recipe courtesy of Wendy Lopez for Food Network Kitchen

Vegetarian Sancocho

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
This hearty stew, typically made with a variety of meats and root vegetables, is enjoyed throughout Latin America in many different forms. In my vegetarian version, based on Dominican sancocho, red lentils serve double duty as a plant protein and thickener for the fragrant broth scented with aromatics and spices. A filling combination of yuca, squash, plantains and corn round out the dish to make a substantial meal.



  1. Bring a medium pot of water (about 8 cups) to a boil and add the lentils. Simmer over medium heat until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the lentils and let cool, then transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth; set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the tomato paste, oregano, paprika, cumin, garlic, bell pepper and onion and cook until the spices are toasted and the tomato paste turns a deep brick red, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the lentil puree, squash, yuca, broth, corn, plantain and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the root vegetables are completely tender, about 30 minutes. 
  3. Adjust for salt as needed and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. If you enjoy heat, top with habanero hot sauce.