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March 25th, 2015

Fanesca: Ecuadorian Soup

In Ecuador, Fanesca, a thick and hearty soup made with beans/grains is an absolute must have for the Easter season. Traditionally, 12 varieties of beans and/or grains are cooked separately before the soup can be prepared... as you can imagine it takes a while. However, modern recipes have adapted to our faster-paced lives and it is now quicker and easier than ever to make.

  • Prep: 2 hours - the day before you plan to cook it
  • Prep: 15 minutes - on the day
  • Cook: 1 hour
  • Total time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
  • Recipe serves: 8 - 10


  • 1lb Salt cod fish
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Cup long-grain rice
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Cup sweet corn
  • 2 Cups cabbage, shredded and cooked
  • 2 Cups squash, chopped and cooked
  • 1 Cup baby lima beans or fava beans, cooked
  • 1 Cup green peas, cooked
  • 1 Cup of green beans, cooked
  • 1/2 Cup peanuts, ground
  • 5 Cups low fat milk
  • 1 Cup cheese (preferably queso fresco or queso blanco), shredded
  • 3 Eggs, hardboiled and sliced
  • 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • Instructions

    1. Soak salt cod fish in cold water and cover for 12 hours (or more), changing the water from time to time.
    2. Drain and put fish in the saucepan with fresh water to cover. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer until fish is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain fish, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
    3. Preheat oven to 375 - 400°F. Cut squash in half and place cut side down on lightly sprayed baking tray. Bake for 45 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, cook rice according to packet instructions replacing half the water with milk, boil on very low heat for 20mins.
    5. Meanwhile, cook beans and vegetables according to packet instructions. Can use frozen sweet corn, peas, lima beans and green beans, cook together. Steam zucchini and cabbage for 10 minutes. Combine all vegetables.
    6. Meanwhile cook eggs until hard boiled - 4 minutes - and set aside. Let cool, remove, shell and slice.
    7. When squash is cooked, set aside, let it cool before scraping out flesh with a fork and mashing. Add to beans and rice mixture. Place in fridge until ready to cook and serve.
    8. On day of serving soup: heat butter in a large saucepan and sauté the onions and garlic until onions are soft, 5 minutes. Add oregano, cumin, bay leaf and black pepper and sauté for a minute. Add 1 cup of water, bring to boil and add next remainging ingredients, including rice in milk and fish.
    9. Start to mix and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
    10. Add chopped cheese and salt to taste. The soup should be as thick as minestrone. It too thick, add milk and simmer for a few more minutes.
    11. Garnish soup with sliced hardboiled eggs and serve with parmesan cheese.


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