Soyo is a traditional Paraguayan soup prepared using meat that is pounded in a mortar. It is then flavored with several spices and vegetables.
Other ingredients added include cold water, rice, garlic, aromatic herbs, oil, onion, sweet red pepper, tomato, scallion, some flour, salt, oregano and parsley.
Rich in calories, this hearty soup is generally consumed with tortilla Paraguaya or chipa guazu.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The term ‘soyo’ is derived from the word so’o josopy, a Guaraní word that is a combination of two words: ‘meat’ (so’o) and ‘crushed’ (josopyré).
Soyo was traditionally considered to have been a poor man’s meal. However, today it is extremely popular in every social class and can be found in restaurants all across the country.
Soyo can also be found in Argentina, where it is typically eaten during the winter months in regions where the temperature gets extremely low.
Soyo is easy to prepare and is a popular nutritious meal for poorer Paraguayans. Meat is generally quite expensive but the smaller amount required to prepare this soup allows people to eat meat more frequently and prevents malformations in children due to a low protein intake.
However, people often prepare soyo using just vegetables and cereals as they cannot afford to buy meat.
- Ground beef - 3 lb
- Onion (large), chopped - 1
- Green bell pepper, seeded and diced - 1
- Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced - 2
- Rice - 2 tbsp
- Vegetable oil (or lard) - 4 tbsp
- Oregano - 1 tsp
- Parsley - ½ bunch
- Cold water - 8 cups
- Flour - 1 tbsp
- Begin by taking a mortar and adding the meat and rice to it. Combine both ingredients well. With the help of a pestle, crush them until you obtain a paste.
- Now, knead this mixture using your bare hands for about 5 minutes.
- Once done, take a large salad bowl and add the meat and 8 cups of cold water. Mix until the combination is completely homogeneous.
- In a Dutch oven, add some oil and heat it.
- Once heated, it’s time to add the onions and allow them to cook until they turn brown in colour. Make sure you cook them over a medium flame.
- Add the pepper and tomato and allow it to cook for about 5 minutes. Remember to keep stirring constantly.
- Now, add the flour to the prepared sauce and combine well for approximately two minutes.
- Throw in the meat and rice mixture that was dissolved in cold water.
- Cook for about 15 minutes while making sure to stir continuously.
- Finally, add salt, oregano and parsley and there you have it. Your delicious soyo is ready to be served.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 545Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 47g