Mote de Queso

Ñame and Cheese Soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 8 to 10


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Mote de Queso is a delicious chowder; it is a little thick, flavored by the guiso and topped by the almost-melted cheese. It comes from the department of Córdoba. Ñame* is the main ingredient in this recipe and therefore it cannot be replaced by anything else. Ñame blanco espino is the best variety for this recipe, but any kind of ñame will do.

If you have had ñame in soups before and think it is a little bland, please try it this way: I guarantee it is a delicious potage.


  • 5 pounds ñame* blanco espino or other ñame


  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • cups diced scallion
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pounds white farmer’s cheese*, cut in ¼-inch dice


  1. Peel and quarter the ñame lengthwise. Slice into 2-inch chunks.
  2. Place half of the ñame in a large stockpot and cover it completely with water. Simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour, add the rest of the ñame and continue to cook for another hour.
  3. In the meantime, PREPARE THE GUISO: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, place the oil, scallion, onion, tomato, garlic, bouillon cube, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. When the ñame mixture has thickened and the pieces are cooked through, add the guiso and the cheese. Simmer for 10 minutes more and taste for the salt; add more if necessary.
  5. Serve hot.