Locro de papa
5 November 2016

Pick a dish only because it has a funny name that sounds somewhat like a Spanish translation of ‘crazy daddy’.   Also pick it because it is the only vegetarian dish on an Ecuadorian market where everybody eats WHOLE ROASTED PIGS! Make friends with a woman named Doña Mercedes who is so proud of her ‘locro de papa’,  that she wants you to take a picture with her.

This is all okay because the soup turns out to be delicious. Ask this woman for her secret. Get confused afterwards because the traditional soup is made from potatoes, cheese and milk but this Mercedes lady told you there were peanuts in it. Brew up you own recipe that has both peanuts AND cheese in it.


10-12 little potatoes, peeled and cut into fours

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion,

chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground achiote seed or annate (or safron or kurkuma)

1 or 2 cups of water

1/4 cup of peanut paste (or peanut butter, or a small handful of grinded peanuts)

1/2 cup of milk

handfull of chopped cilantro salt to taste

half an avocado

1 cup of Cayambe cheese or white fresh cheese (Gouda could also work and we used a hardish type of mozzarella from a cheesemaker in Salinas, Ecuador)

Heat oil. Add onion, garlic, cumin and achiote. (Achiote is a seed that is used to give color to recipes or dye fabrics with. So if you can’t get achiote or annate, try using safron or even kurkuma.) Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes until onions soften. Add water and potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are just covered with water, but not much more. Cook until potatoes are tender, depending on how small the potatoes are, from 10-20 minutes after it comes to a boil. Spoon up 6 potato pieces and set aside. Using an immersion blender, partially puree the soup. It can be nice to leave some chunks of potato in there, otherwise spoon the potato pieces back in.On medium heat, add salt, milk, peanut paste and cheese and simmer for a few minutes longer, stirring frequently.  Add cilantro and finish with a few pieces of avocado. You could also opt for finishing with the cheese instead of stirring it in, so it can melt partly whilst serving. Before eating, work up an appetite.

Call your husband a ‘locro de papa’ for getting his beard drenched in melted cheese when slurping up the soup.