Easy Fanesca (Ecuadorian Easter Soup)

    Fanesca (Ecuadorian Easter Soup)
    Tamara Lukens

    In Ecuador, Fanesca is a must have for the Easter season. Traditionally, 12 varieties of beans and/or grains were cooked separately before the soup could be prepared. In this modified recipe, canned beans and grains cut down some of the prep work so you can spend more time with your family and less time in the kitchen.

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    Ingredients
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    1
    pound
    salt cod, soaked for 24 hours, drained, cut into about 2-inch pieces
    1
    lemon, juiced
    1
    cup
    long grain white rice
    1
    cup
    lentils
    2
    cups
    milk, plus extra as needed
    1/4
    cup
    unsalted peanuts, toasted
    2
    tablespoons
    vegetable oil
    1
    cup
    yellow onion, finely diced
    3
    cloves
    garlic, minced
    3
    tablespoons
    Chopped Cilantro
    2
    cups
    pumpkin (calabaza/zapallo), cooked and cubed (reserve the water)
    2
    cups
    yellow squash, cooked and cubed (reserve the water)
    1
    14-to-16-ounce can (2 cups) lima beans, undrained
    1
    14-to-16-ounce can (2 cups) red kidney beans or pinto beans, undrained
    1
    14-to-16-ounce can (2 cups) cannellini beans, undrained
    1
    14-to-16-ounce can (2 cups) garbanzo beans, undrained
    1
    cup
    (8 ounces) jarred lupini beans (chochos), drained and peeled
    1
    14-to-16-ounce can (2 cups) hominy, drained
    1
    14-to-16-ounce can (2 cups) sweet corn, drained
    *
    Ground achiote or paprika, to taste
    *
    ground cumin, to taste
    *
    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Garnishes
    *
    Sliced hard boiled eggs
    *
    Chopped Cilantro
    *
    fried sweet plantains
    *
    Masitas (deep-fried empanadas)
    *
    sliced avocado
    Directions
    Step 1
    Cook the cod fish in abundant water plus the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the fish from the water, and discard the water.
    Step 2
    Meanwhile, cook the rice in 3 cups of water. It should be soggy and tender. Set aside. Cook the lentils in 2 cups of salted water. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid.
    Step 3
    Blend the milk and peanuts and set aside.
    Step 4
    In a large Dutch oven or stew pot, make a refrito by heating 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat, and adding the onion, garlic, cilantro, achiote powder, and seasoning with salt, pepper and cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes.
    Step 5
    Add the peanut and milk puree to the refrito, and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the soggy, tender rice. Stir and mash the rice with the ladle to thicken the soup. Cook for 5 additional minutes.
    Step 6
    Add the cooked pumpkin, yellow squash, plus 1 cup of each of the cooking liquids. Mash the squashes with the ladle to thicken the soup.
    Step 7
    Add all the beans with the liquid, plus the hominy and corn, drained. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every so often so the soup doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
    Step 8
    The Fanesca soup is thick and hearty, but if you notice it is drying too fast, or prefer a lighter soup, add more milk, about 1 to 2 cups, depending on your preference.
    Step 9
    Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and lightly sautee the cod fish pieces on all sides until golden and firm.
    Step 10
    Taste the Fanesca for seasoning, and adjust the flavor by adding more salt, pepper and cumin if necessary.
    Step 11
    To serve: in a bowl, place a few pieces (depending on your preference) of the sauteed cod. Ladle some Fanesca over it. Garnish the soup with additional chopped cilantro, slices of hard-boiled eggs, or slices of avocado. Serve with fried sweet plantains and masitas (deep fried empanadas).

    Nutrition Facts

    Serving Size: 
    Serving Per Recipe: 
    14
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    150 mins
    Prep Time: 
    60 mins
    Cook Time: 
    90 mins
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    The base number of servings for this recipe is 14
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