Recipes from Ecuador

Fanesca/Spring Soup

Serves 8 to 10.


1 pound of salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup cooked, chopped zucchini
1 cup cooked green beans, cut into green peas
1 cup light cream
3 hardboiled eggs, sliced
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter
¼ teaspoon oregano
freshly ground pepper
2-1/2 cups cooked shredded cabbage
1 cup cooked baby lima beans or broad (fava) beans
½ cup peanuts, ground
1 cup Spanish fresh cheese (queso fresco or queso blanco) or Munster, chopped
grated Parmesan cheese
2 medium onions, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup long grain rice cooked in 1 cup milk and 1 cup water
2 cups cooked, mashed winter squash
1 cup cooked green peas
4 cups milk


1. Soak the cod in cold water to cover for 12 hours or more, changing the water frequently.
2. Drain the fish and put it into a saucepan with fresh water to cover.
3. Bring to a broil, lower the heat, and simmer until fish is tender, about 15 minutes.
4. Drain, and reserve the fish stock.
5. Remove any skin and bones from the fish; cut fish into ½ inch pieces. Set aside.
6. Heat butter in a large saucepan and saute the onions and garlic until onions are soft.
7. Add the oregano, cumin, bay leaf, and several grinds of black pepper and saute for a minute or two longer.
8. Add 1 cup water, bring to a boil, and add the cooked rice, corn, cabbage, squash, zucchini, lima or fava beans, peas, green beans, ground peanuts, the fish and fish stock, the milk and the cream. Stir to mix and simmer very gently for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the chopped cheese and salt to taste.

The soup should be about as thick as a minestrone. If it seems too thick, thin it with a little more milk and simmer for a few minutes longer.

Pour the soup into a tureen and serve in soup plates. Garnish the servings with sliced hardboiled egg. Have the grated Parmesan cheese in a bowl on the table to be used as liked.

Ensalada de Verduras/Vegetable Salad

This dish (also known as Chakery, Chakrey, Thiacry, Thiakry, Tiakri) is a West African snack that can also be served as a dessert. It is similar in consistency to the rice puddings of the Middle East but is generally made with Couscous (though traditionally it was made with the African grains fonio, millet or black-eyed peas).


Green peas
Green beans, cut into ½ inch slices
Diced potatoes
Artichoke hearts, halved or quartered
Sliced avocados
Diced beets
Corn kernels
Diced celery
Tiny sliced raw zucchini, or larger zucchini, cooked and diced
Cauliflower, separated in flowerets
Diced carrots
Asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
Sliced raw tomatoes


This is a favorite way of serving vegetables in Ecuador and is often presented as a separate course, before the main course. The vegetables are arranged in rows on a large platter and are served freshly cooked at room temperature. I have had them without any dressing, simply seasoned with salt during the cooking, with a dressing only of oil, salt, and pepper, and with a vinaigrette made with 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice, and seasoned with salt and pepper. The platter may be decorated with shredded lettuce or garnished with slices of hardboiled egg, or with olives, green or black. The vegetables should be cooked and tossed with the dressing separately. The dressing should not be abundant. The vegetables may be arranged as the cook sees fit: in rows, in heaps, or in circles. The vegetables listed below are the ones most frequently used. I like to serve the platter of mixed vegetables to accompany a main course, especially an Ecuadorian one.


Bolon de Verde/Plantain Balls Stuffed with Cheese


cooking oil


You need 3-4 green plantains, salt, finely chopped onions, butter, cheese (queso fresco), and oil for frying.
1. Peel the plantains and cut into 3/4 inch pieces.
2. Cook the plantains until they're soft.
3. Mash them with a rollling pin and use your hands to knead in a little salt, butter, cheese, and the onions.
4. Form a ball (slightly larger than an egg) and fry until golden brown.
These are eaten for breakfast with coffee.

Source: Tara Larsen