Caldosa Cubana – A Recipe from Chef Fernando

Our very own Willow Valley Communities’ Chef Fernando shares his family’s recipe for a hearty soup named Caldosa Cubana from his home country of Cuba. This hearty soup of chicken, or meats of your choice, potatoes, root vegetables, plantains, and sofrito is easily one of the most famous dishes in Cuba, although it is well known in other countries in South and Central America and the small Caribbean Islands. The word “Caldosa” in Cuban means a time when family and friends gather to tell stories and dance to salsa music.

Working with Power Packs Project, Chef Fernando used this recipe to demonstrate easy, healthy cooking ideas for children and their parents at the School District of Lancaster’s George Washington Elementary School.


2 lb. chicken, diced
½ lb. chorizo sausage, sliced
½ lb. smoked ham, diced
4 quarts of water
2 ears of corn
½ lb. yucca root, sliced
½ sweet potato, diced
½ lb. white or red taro root (Malanga or yautia)
1 green and 1 yellow plantain, peeled and sliced
2 lemons or limes cut into wedges
½ butternut squash, peeled and sliced


1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 green bell pepper or ½ cup ajisto pepper
1 can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
¼ cup olive oil or pork lard
1 tsp. cumin or adobo seasoning
¼ cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a soup pot add water, bay leaf, corn, smoked ham, chicken and half of chorizo sausage. Boil on high heat for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  2. In a saute pan, heat oil and add all the ingredients for the sofrito in the same order as listed above plus the remaining chorizo sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside when done.
  3. When sofrito is done and the chicken is cooked then add all vegetables to the boiling broth along with sofrito and cook for 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender. To thicken, mash a few pieces of vegetable in a little broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Are you interested in learning more about our culinary options at Willow Valley Communities?  We offer a variety of dining options in 12 distinct venues, from buffets and snack bars to menu dining – all of our culinary venues rival the finest restaurants. Please give us a call and plan to come see for yourself why our residents believe we have one of the best senior living dining programs. Call 877.503.0774, contact us on our website, or drop by our Welcome Center to schedule your personal tour and discover why we’ve been voted one of the best 55+ communities in Lancaster, PA.

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