Last Updated on February 16, 2021 by Chef Mireille
Fanesca – Ecuadorian Spring Soup
Fanesca is traditionally made during Lent to utilize many Spring vegetables. With rice, beans and vegetables, it is a hearty filling soup that can serve as a meal on its own!
Ecuadorians love soup and they usually eat soup daily. Therefore, there are many varieties of soup in Ecuadorian cuisine. If you are a soup lover, be sure to check out my other Ecuadorian soups.
ECUADORIAN SOUP RECIPES
- Beche de Pescado– Fish Soup
- Locro de Papa – Potato Cheese Soup
- Ecuadorian Pasta Cheese Soup with Potatoes
While Ecuadorian food itself isn’t spicy, you can add extra flavor by adding some Aji Criolla when enjoying this hearty and delicious soup.
This soup is packed with vegetables and I had just come back from NYC’s largest farmers market. Read all about the Union Square Greenmarket here. Since zucchini and green beans are in season, I was able to use the farmer’r market produce, which I am sure made the soup even better than the supermarket produce.
The only meat used in Fanesca – Ecuadorian Spring Soup is salt cod. Salt Cod, also known as bacalao is very popular throughout South America and the Caribbean, as well as in some European Mediterranean countries like Italy and Portugal. It is very important to soak off the salt, otherwise the fish will be unpalatable.
I was once watching an episode of Chopped and one of the players didn’t know this. I felt so bad for her as none of the judges could eat what she had prepared.
If you’d like to try some other recipes with salt cod, check out these recipes!
SALT COD RECIPES
I did make a few adaptions to the original recipe which is in a binder full of photocopied recipes from various cookbooks I have had for about 20 years.
The original recipes used baby lime beans or fava beans, but I used chickpeas/garbanzos since I wanted to use canned beans (not in the mood to pre soak etc.) and that is all that was in the pantry.
As this soup is made to represent the abundance of Spring, you can easily use other vegetables to utilize what else might be in your veggie bin.
This hearty soup so full of fresh vegetables feels light, despite all the dairy, rice and beans included!
With eggs, fish, cheese, milk and beans – Fanesca – Ecuadorian Spring Soup is one protein packed bowl!
Fanesca – Ecuadorian Spring Soup
- 1 pound boneless salt cod
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 4 tablespoons oil achiote oil will give you better color and flavor
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups kabocha or calabaza pumpkin peeled, boiled and mashed
- 2 cups chopped zucchini
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 cup corn
- 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
- 1 cup cooked or canned beans
- ½ cup ground peanuts
- 4 cups milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 3 sliced hard boiled eggs to serve
- Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
- Soak the cod for 4 hours, changing the water every hour.
- Boil cod in a pot of water. Once the fish is cooked, remove the fish and reserve the liquid.
- By hand, check for bones and shred.
- Bring milk and 1 cup of water to a boil.
- Add rice and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
- All the vegetables need to be cooked beforehand. You can boil, roast or saute the zucchini, peas, green beans, corn and cabbage. To make it even easier, you can microwave all the veggies separately.
- In a large pot, heat oil.
- Add onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are softened.
- Add oregano, cumin, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
- Add 1 cup water, 2 cups reserved fish stock, milk and cream. SEE NOTES
- Stir to combine.
- Add the mashed pumpkin and peanuts and mix well.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add the zucchini, peas, green beans, corn, cabbage, beans, fish and rice. Stir to combine.
- Simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Adjust salt as needed.
- Add queso fresco and stir to combine.
- To serve, garnish with the eggs and Parmesan cheese.
Need more culinary inspiration? Check out the Recipe Index with over 1500 Recipes from Around the World with lots of Vegetarian 🥕🍆🍅and Gluten Free Recipes!