When I came to Australia in 1971 at the age of 28, I had no recipes written down, so I had to remember the flavours of my favourite Chilean dishes and try to re-create them.
Juan Araya

22 Mar 2013 - 3:35 PM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

Porotos con riendas is the most famous Chilean bean soup of them all. It is a beautiful soup, with pumpkin, beans, chorizo and pasta. The Chileans call the spaghetti 'reins’"¦ like the reins of a horse. It reminds me of my home and it’s something I love to eat a lot. Not many people like beans, but I love them, as does my daughter Claudia and my granddaughters Bella, Mia and Harper. I am an only child and I used to spend a lot of time with my mum in the kitchen. I would watch how she cooked this soup, and that’s how I learned to cook it. It’s not a secret recipe"¦ if there are 35,000 people with Chilean ancestry in Australia, 34,999 will tell you this is not how to cook this dish. Chileans have strong opinions about food"¦ we have strong opinions about everything.

Beans with "reins" (porotos con riendas)

Interview by Carla Grossetti. Photography by Katie Kaars.