top of page

Sign up for emails on super healthy, delicious plant-based recipes, cooking tips, events, announcements & the latest on plant-based nutritional research.

Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC


Puerto Rican Pink Bean Soup with Green Banana Dumplings

(Habichuelas Rosadas con Bolitas de Guineos Verdes)


When my friend Alida described a favorite Puerto Rican family dish involving pink beans and green banana dumplings, I had to try making it , but kinder to the environment and healthier. So I bumped up Recaito, Puerto Rico’s sofrito of aromatic vegetables, while sidestepping cooking oil, ham, and artificial sazon seasoning. The result makes a splendid supper, bursting with flavor and fun to eat. It is loaded with gut-healthy benefits too, thanks to the beans and dumplings, which are rich in fiber and resistant starch. To better manage your time, prepare recaito and dumplings in advance.


Prep 1 ½ hours     

Cook 1 hour         

Serves 4 to 6


Pink Beans

1 pound pink beans, found online or in the Latino aisle of your grocery, pressure cooked

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half

3 cloves garlic

2 bay leaves



1 teaspoon achiote seeds (annatto), freshly ground

1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly ground

4 green bananas, peeled, grated or blended

1 tablespoon cilantro, minced, plus 2 tablespoons for a garnish

1 tablespoon culantro, minced, plus 2 tablespoons more for a garnish

2 teaspoons shiro (mild, white) miso paste



2 teaspoons achiote seeds (annatto), freshly ground

2 teaspoons coriander seed, freshly ground

1 teaspoon cumin seed, freshly ground

¼ teaspoon black peppercorn, freshly ground

2 ½ cups yellow onion, cut in a medium dice

Splash of no-sodium vegetable broth to deglaze pan

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 large garlic cloves. minced

2 cups carrot, cut in a medium dice

2 cups celery root, cut in a medium dice

1 cup Recaito (see page   ), plus more to garnish

1 28-ounce jar, cartons, or can of passata, or crushed tomatoes

2 cups calabaza squash, peeled and cut in bite-sized pieces

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon granulated onion

1 teaspoon liquid smoke, or to taste

3 to 4 tablespoons aka (red) miso paste, or to taste

Garnish with additional minced cilantro and cilantro and/or a spoonful of recaito.



Find cilantro, cilantro, green bananas, pink beans, achiote seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, calabaza squash in local Latin grocery stores.


Cook the Pink Beans

  • Rinse and drain the pink beans. Add the beans to a pressure cooker with 6 cups of water, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and onion halves.
  • Pressure-cook on high for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the pot to release the pressure naturally (without opening the pressure regulator). Older beans may require a few minutes more. The cooked beans should be tender but intact. Discard the bay leaf, whole garlic, and onion halves.


Make the Dumpling Mix

  • Grind 1 teaspoon of achiote seeds and 1/8 teaspoon of black peppercorns for the dumplings.  Place the ground spices in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Green bananas, like their cousins, plantains, are not easy to peel. To peel them, slice off the tops and bottoms and make several slits through the peel along their length. Break off the stiff peel. Spare your knuckles from grating by hand by throwing the peeled bananas into a food processor and pulse until they are gloopy. Transfer the puréed green bananas to the mixing bowl.
  • Add the minced cilantro and cilantro. Season to taste with shiro miso. Using clean hands, mix everything together to evenly distribute the seasonings and herbs throughout the dumpling mix.


Make the Soup

  • Preheat the oven to 150°F and insert rimmed soup bowls to warm.
  • Grind 2 teaspoons of achiote seeds, ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns, and the cumin and coriander seeds in a coffee grinder. Transfer the ground spices to a bowl.
  • Heat a very large sauté pan or skillet on medium for 3 minutes. Add the diced onion and dry sauté for a few minutes, until the onions soften, release their water, and begin to darken the pan and adhere.
  • Deglaze the skillet with a few tablespoons of broth, scraping up the caramelized onion sugars with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the oregano, garlic, carrot, celery root, and ½ cup of sofrito, stirring to combine. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, calabaza, the ground spice blend, granulated onion and garlic, and the liquid smoke. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked pink beans with as much of its cooking water as you prefer for the soup. Cook for 10 minutes or until the squash is tender but intact, and all the flavors have melded. Taste to correct the seasonings as you like.
  • Stir in the remaining ½ cup of sofrito.
  • With your soup/stew gently simmering, add a large spoonful of the dumpling batter on top, distributing them evenly across the surface of your pan. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the dumplings are firm and have cooked.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in aka miso to taste.
  • To plate the soup, ladle the soup, topped with 2 to 3 dumplings into warm rimmed soup bowls. Garnish with a sprinkle of minced cilantro and cilantro, and/or a spoonful of Recaito.


Puerto Rican Pink Beans with Green Banana Dumplings

    Cathy's Card
    bottom of page