Growing up, every time my stomach hurt, my Cuban mom would cook malanga. Sometimes it was just peeled, boiled, and mashed, other times it was this Crema de Malanga.
She would also make Sopa de Pollo (Cuban Chicken Soup) and Ajiaco Cubano (Cuban Country-Style Stew) but that’s a story for another day.
Crema de Malanga is a delicious and nourishing soup that’s a staple of Caribbean cuisine made with malanga root, a starchy vegetable that has an earthy flavor, similar to yuca. Some have described malanga as a cross between a potato and a chestnut, with a mild and delicate flavor that’s not too overpowering.
Malanga can be boiled, mashed, fried, or roasted, and used in various dishes such as casseroles, fritters like these frituras de malanga, and even desserts like Cuban buñuelos.
Let me show you how to make Crema de Malanga in your own kitchen!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Unique flavors. Malanga root has a nutty, slightly sweet taste which makes for a unique and flavorful soup. The creamy texture of the soup also adds to its appeal, making it a perfect comfort food.
- Nutritious and great for stomach issues. Malanga is a great source of dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron. By making Crema de Malanga, you can enjoy a nourishing and satisfying meal that’s also good for your health.
- Simple, accessible ingredients. Making Crema de Malanga requires only 5 ingredients that are readily available in most grocery stores.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Malanga. The star of our recipe (also known as Taro Root). A starchy root vegetable with a subtle and pleasant taste that pairs well with a wide range of flavors and ingredients.
- Garlic. Adds a lot of flavor to this malanga soup. Its pungent and slightly sweet taste can help to balance out the other rich flavors in the soup.
- Cream cheese. Adds a creamy, tangy richness to a soup. It can also help to thicken it and provide a smooth and velvety texture.
- Extra virgin olive oil. Adds a rich, fruity flavor to a soup. Its unique taste can enhance the other flavors in the soup.
- Whole milk. Adds a luxurious texture and slightly sweet taste that complements other ingredients.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
I use this high-speed Ninja Blender all the time. It’s perfect for making smooth soups, creamy smoothies, delicious dips, and awesome sauces. It’s also easy to clean!
- Soften the malanga root. In a large saucepan, place the peeled malanga with enough water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high heat for about 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Drain.
- Blend all the ingredients. Transfer the boiled malanga chunks to a high-speed blender. Add the garlic, cream cheese, olive oil, milk, salt, and pepper. Blend until pureed, smooth, and creamy.
- Make the malanga soup. Transfer the soup to the saucepan. Simmer and stir for 4-5 minutes at medium-low heat. This soup should be thick and creamy. If you’d like a thinner consistency, add more milk (or water) to thin it out. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Perfect for quick meals. I use this 1-quart nonstick, anodized saucepan all the time and love that it has a lid to avoid any splatters. Super easy to clean and long-lasting.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Use fresh malanga root. It’s important to choose a malanga root that’s firm and free of bruises or blemishes. This will ensure that the soup has a good taste and texture.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Making sure the cream cheese and milk are at room temperature helps prevent lumps and ensure a smooth texture for the Crema de Malanga.
- Use a high-speed blender. This will help you achieve the perfect smooth, creamy, and velvety texture of the soup. An immersion blender works too!
When you’re done making this recipe, make one of my other Cuban soup and stew recipes!
- Make it vegan or dairy-free. You can replace the cream cheese and whole milk with a plant-based alternative such as coconut milk or almond milk. Just know the consistency will not be as thick and the flavor may change but I’m sure it will taste delicious.
- Prefer a chunkier texture? For a heartier texture, you can leave some chunks of malanga in the soup instead of blending it completely.
- Add toppings to the soup. To add more depth of flavor to the soup, you can add some fresh herbs such as chopped parsley, or add a swirl of olive oil to give the soup an extra boost of flavor.
- Store in the refrigerator. Crema de Malanga can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Freeze it. Place in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months and make sure to leave some space in the container to allow for expansion during freezing.
- Reheat and serve: When you’re ready to enjoy the soup, reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until it’s heated through. You may need to add a bit of extra liquid to thin out the consistency after reheating.
Crema de Malanga (Creamy Malanga Soup)
- 2 lbs malanga peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, place the malanga with enough water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high heat for about 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Drain.
- Transfer the boiled malanga chunks to a high speed blender. Add the garlic, cream cheese, olive oil, milk, salt and pepper. Blend until pureed, smooth, and creamy.
- Transfer the soup to the saucepan. Simmer and stir for 4-5 minutes at medium-low heat. This soup should be thick and creamy. If you’d like a thinner consistency, add more milk (or water) to thin it out. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve. Enjoy!
John Fonseca says
I’m was born in Cuba Raised in the us I have been living in Mexico for a while. I have mssed the old country cuisine.
I’m Glad I found your blog. I have made
1 – cuban picadillo
2 – ropa vieja
3 – arroz con pollo
4 – chicken breast cuban style
and others: they were all excellent. Thank You
Jamie Silva says
Happy to hear that, John, thank you!