Chairo Paceńo Recipe - Traditional Bolivian Lamb and Potato Soup

Chairo Paceńo

Chairo Paceńo Recipe - Traditional Bolivian Lamb and Potato Soup
Region / culture: Bolivia | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 2 hours | Servings: 8


Chairo Paceńo
Chairo Paceńo

Chairo Paceńo is a traditional Bolivian soup that is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for a cold day. This dish is packed with a variety of ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and spices that come together to create a delicious and satisfying meal.


Chairo Paceńo has its origins in the Andean region of Bolivia, where it has been enjoyed for generations. The dish is a staple in Bolivian cuisine and is often served during special occasions and celebrations.


How to prepare

  1. Pour the water into a pot for preparing chairo. Place the pot over medium heat. Once it is warm, add the meat and chalona. Stir and add salt before it starts to boil. Let it cook for at least one hour. Add green beans, peas, carrots, and potatoes to the broth. Let it boil for fifteen minutes. Then add chuńo and let it boil for another five minutes. Add white corn and wheat. Let it boil until the potatoes are cooked.
  2. In a small pan, heat oil over medium temperature. Sauté the onion. Then add cayenne pepper, cumin, oregano, and black pepper. Let it cook for ten minutes. Finally, add these spices to the chairo stew and let the mixture cook for ten more minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and add green onion, parsley, oregano, and mint.


  • For a vegetarian version, omit the meat and chalona and add more vegetables such as zucchini and bell peppers.
  • Add a splash of lime juice for a tangy twist to the soup.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to cut the vegetables into thin strips to ensure they cook evenly in the soup.

- Allow the meat and chalona to cook for at least one hour to ensure they are tender and flavorful.

- Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your spice preference.

Serving Suggestions

Chairo Paceńo is traditionally served hot with a side of rice or bread.

Cooking Techniques

Boiling the meat and chalona in the broth helps to infuse the soup with flavor.

- Sautéing the onions and spices before adding them to the soup enhances their aroma and taste.

Ingredient Substitutions

If chalona is not available, you can substitute it with bacon or ham.

- You can use frozen corn and canned beans as a substitute for fresh ingredients.

Make Ahead Tips

Chairo Paceńo can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Chairo Paceńo in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano, and mint for a pop of color.

Pairing Recommendations

Chairo Paceńo pairs well with a side of rice, quinoa, or crusty bread. A glass of red wine or a traditional Bolivian chicha morada would complement the flavors of the dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Chairo Paceńo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pot over low heat until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Chairo Paceńo contains approximately 350-400 calories.


Chairo Paceńo is a carbohydrate-rich dish due to the potatoes, corn, and grains included in the recipe.


The fats in this dish come from the oil used for sautéing the onions and the meat included in the recipe.


The protein in Chairo Paceńo comes from the cow meat and chalona included in the recipe.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins and minerals from the variety of vegetables included such as lima beans, green peas, carrots, and potatoes.


This recipe contains meat and may not be suitable for individuals with meat allergies.


Chairo Paceńo is a nutritious and filling dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.


Chairo Paceńo is a comforting and flavorful Bolivian soup that is perfect for a cozy night in. Packed with meat, vegetables, and spices, this dish is sure to warm you up from the inside out. Enjoy this traditional recipe with your family and friends for a taste of Bolivian cuisine.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in the hustle and bustle of La Paz, Bolivia. I had always been fascinated by the vibrant culture and flavorful cuisine of my country, and I longed to learn the secrets of traditional Bolivian cooking.

One day, while wandering through the bustling markets of La Paz, I stumbled upon a small stall run by an elderly woman. The fragrant aroma of spices and herbs wafted through the air, drawing me in like a magnet. I watched in awe as the woman deftly prepared a steaming pot of chairo paceńo, a hearty and comforting soup that is a staple in Bolivian households.

Intrigued by the woman's skill and expertise, I mustered up the courage to approach her and ask for the recipe. She smiled warmly at me and invited me to sit with her as she shared the secrets of this beloved dish. As she spoke, her hands moved with a grace and precision that comes only from years of practice and dedication to her craft.

She began by explaining that chairo paceńo is a hearty soup made with a variety of ingredients, including potatoes, corn, and a mix of hearty vegetables. The key to a delicious chairo paceńo, she said, lies in the careful selection and preparation of each ingredient. She showed me how to choose the freshest vegetables, how to season the broth just right, and how to simmer the soup until the flavors meld together in perfect harmony.

I listened intently, soaking up every word and committing the recipe to memory. The woman's passion for cooking was infectious, and I knew that I had stumbled upon a treasure trove of knowledge that would stay with me for a lifetime.

After bidding the woman farewell and thanking her for her generosity, I hurried home to try my hand at making chairo paceńo for the first time. I gathered the ingredients and set to work, following the steps that the woman had taught me with care and precision.

As the soup simmered on the stove, filling my home with its tantalizing aroma, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment wash over me. The flavors and textures came together beautifully, just as the woman had promised, and I knew that I had discovered a recipe that would become a cherished part of my culinary repertoire.

Over the years, I have made chairo paceńo countless times, each batch a tribute to the woman who shared her knowledge and passion with me that fateful day in the markets of La Paz. I have added my own touches and variations to the recipe, making it my own while still honoring the tradition and heritage of Bolivian cuisine.

As I sit down to enjoy a steaming bowl of chairo paceńo, I am transported back to that moment in time when I first learned the secrets of this beloved dish. The memories of that day are as fresh and vivid as the flavors of the soup itself, and I am grateful for the gift of knowledge that was passed down to me by a kind and talented stranger.

In the world of cooking, recipes are more than just a list of ingredients and instructions – they are a link to the past, a connection to the people and places that have shaped us. And for me, chairo paceńo will always be a reminder of the day that I stumbled upon a treasure trove of culinary wisdom in the heart of La Paz.


| Bolivian Meat Dishes | Bolivian Recipes | Lamb Recipes | Mint Recipes | Oregano Recipes | Potato Recipes | Shallot Recipes | Wheat Recipes |

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