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Chilean Carbonada Soup

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This Chilean carbonada soup is a classic dish found in Chile. It’s pure comfort in the form of beef, corn, potatoes, pumpkin and carrots. It’s easy to make and feels like comfort in a bowl. Plus, it’s perfect for cool spring nights.

If you follow me on Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook you might remember me jet setting off to Chile back in December. When I was invited on the trip I literally said yes in 2.2 seconds. I think I might have even said yes before I told my husband about the trip. Thank goodness he is low key and thinks like that don’t bother him because I’m guilty of doing that all. the. time.

In the next couple of weeks I’m going to be sharing a few in-depth travel posts with you but as a light intro to my trip, I wanted to share a traditional dish I had a few times while I as in Chile – carbonada. It reminds me a brothy beef stew which was perfect for cool nights. I also think it’s perfect for the cold winter weather I was treated when I got back home from Chile. Going somewhere where it’s summer when you’re typically used to winter in December is a trick to the mind. 

I tried to keep the Chilean carbonada soup as traditional as possible and so I followed the directions I got while I was in Chile. Big chunks of red potato, pumpkin, carrots, red bell pepper, beef, and corn all throw together in a delicious beef broth and sprinkled with the most amazing spice EVER called merken or also spelled merquen. I literally bought 6 bags of that stuff to bring home with me. I loved it that much! It’s not too spicy but has a nice boost of flavor that seriously can be sprinkled on anything – eggs, avocado, soup, mashed potatoes…you get the idea. It’s the best.

If you’re still living in the part of the country that is slowly waiting for spring to show up (come on spring, you can do it!) then this soup is still the perfect addition to your menu. Plus because this soup is more brothy vs. thick like a stew it doesn’t seem quite as heavy. Which is exactly what I’m looking for in a springtime soup.

{Looking for more delicious soup recipes? Try my Chicken Avocado Cilantro Lime SoupCreamy Red Lentil Carrot SoupChicken and Chard Tortilla SoupButternut Squash Minestrone SoupRoasted Cauliflower Fennel Leek Soup or my Lamb Meatball Couscous Soup}

Chilean Carbonada Soup

This Chilean carbonada soup is a classic dish found in Chile. It's pure comfort in the form of beef, corn, potatoes, pumpkin and carrots. It's easy to make and feels like comfort in a bowl. Plus, it's perfect for cool spring nights.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-pounds chuck roast, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
  • 4 red potatoes, cubed
  • 3 carrots, cubed
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups cubed fresh pumpkin*
  • 2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 64 ounces beef stock
  • White rice, cooked, optional



In a large soup pot add olive oil and set over medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot add cubed beef and season with kosher salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cook until the meat is browned.

Add in potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, onion, pumpkin, corn, garlic, oregano, paprika and 32 ounces of the beef stock. Stir to combine. Add more stock until all the vegetables are covered. I used both containers of my stock because I wanted a very brothy soup.

Simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and tender. Taste the soup and season with more kosher salt if needed.

If desired spoon a little cooked rice into your bowls and spoon soup over the rice. You can also eat the soup without the rice.

*Note: Try to cut the carrots, potato, and pumpkin in the same size chunks so the vegetables cook up evenly. Also, if you cannot find fresh pumpkin butternut squash works well.