Embark on a captivating culinary journey as we explore the heart and soul of Ecuadorian gastronomy through the rich tapestry of Fanesca Soup. This cherished dish not only signifies the joyous celebration of Easter in Ecuador but also encapsulates centuries of culinary artistry and cultural heritage. Let’s delve into the fascinating origins, intriguing ingredients, and the profound significance that Fanesca holds in the hearts and kitchens of Ecuadorians.

Fanesca, a soup traditionally prepared during the Holy Week, stands as a testament to the Ecuadorian commitment to honoring both cultural traditions and the bountiful harvests of the region. Its preparation is not merely a culinary task; it’s a communal affair that brings families together, generation after generation, to partake in the creation of a dish that symbolizes unity and the joy of shared meals. So, fasten your seatbelts as we embark on an exploration of flavors, stories, and the soul-warming essence of Fanesca Soup.


  • 1 cup dried salted cod, soaked and shredded
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 cup cooked white hominy corn
  • 1 cup cooked green peas
  • 1 cup pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 cup fava beans, peeled
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced
  • 1 cup chocho (Andean legume), diced
  • 1 cup sambo (type of squash), diced
  • 1 cup ripe plantains, sliced
  • 1 cup peanuts, toasted and ground into a paste
  • 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup queso fresco (fresh cheese), crumbled
  • 1 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon achiote (annatto) paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hard-boiled eggs and fried empanadas for garnish

Note: Adjust quantities according to personal preferences and the number of servings desired. The beauty of Fanesca lies in its flexibility, allowing for a personalized touch in every pot.

  1. Prepare the Dried Salted Cod:
    • Soak the dried salted cod in water for at least 24 hours, changing the water a few times to remove excess salt.
    • Shred the soaked cod into small pieces.
  2. Cook Lentils, Hominy Corn, and Green Peas:
    • Cook the lentils, white hominy corn, and green peas separately until tender.
  3. Prepare Vegetables:
    • Peel and dice the pumpkin.
    • Slice the zucchini.
    • Dice chocho and sambo.
    • Peel and dice the ripe plantains.
  4. Toast Peanuts:
    • Toast the peanuts and grind them into a paste.
  5. Prepare Achiote Base:
    • In a small pan, combine achiote paste with a bit of oil, stirring until it dissolves.
  6. Cook Vegetables:
    • In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic until golden.
    • Add the achiote base, ground cumin, and dried oregano. Stir well.
    • Incorporate all the prepared vegetables, except for the ripe plantains and zucchini. Cook until slightly tender.
  7. Create Nut Paste:
    • Blend the peanuts with a bit of milk to create a smooth paste.
  8. Assemble the Soup:
    • Add the shredded salted cod, lentils, hominy corn, green peas, pumpkin, chocho, and sambo to the pot.
    • Pour in the milk, heavy cream, and ground peanut paste. Stir gently.
    • Simmer until all ingredients are well combined and flavors meld together.
  9. Add Final Ingredients:
    • Incorporate the cooked rice, queso fresco, and sliced ripe plantains.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Garnish and Serve:
  • Garnish the Fanesca with hard-boiled eggs and fried empanadas.
  • Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the top

Caloric Content:
The caloric content of Fanesca can vary based on the specific quantities and brands of ingredients used. On average, a serving of this hearty soup can range from 500 to 700 calories.

Estimated Time:
The preparation and cooking time for Fanesca can be approximately 2 to 2.5 hours. This includes the time for soaking, chopping, and cooking the various ingredients to achieve the rich and flavorful blend that characterizes this Ecuadorian dish.

In closing, Fanesca is more than a soup; it’s a celebration of Ecuadorian culinary traditions, bringing together a diverse array of ingredients to create a flavorful and nutritious dish. Whether enjoyed during Holy Week or any time of the year, Fanesca invites you to savor the unique taste of Ecuador. Gather your loved ones, garnish with hard-boiled eggs and crispy empanadas, and let each spoonful transport you to the heart of Ecuador’s rich gastronomic heritage. Happy cooking and buen provecho!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *