Fanesca is a very traditional soup from Ecuador and is a special soup or stew because it is only prepared once a year during Easter. Fanesca contains a variety of different grains, some of which are found only in the Andean highlands of South America, and in general it is made with fresh grains, of course it is very hard to find fresh grains in the US and Europe, so they can be replaced with either frozen grains in the case of the fava beans, green peas and lima beans or dry grains in the case of the cannellini beans. Ecuador has an amazing variety of porotos or beans and unlike other places you can get these beans fresh, most of the time in the pods and then you peel them and cook them, the taste of cooked fresh beans is unbeatable. [read more]
This shrimp and corn chowder recipe is inspired by a very traditional Ecuadorian potato soup called locro de papa. The classic locro is made with potatoes, milk, and cheese; however in Ecuador, there are many variations of the locro soup. Some add crispy pork skin, others add cabbage or greens, in some places the cheese is replaced with ground peanuts, and there is even a variation with offal. Corn and shrimp are also used in some variations of locro.
A good friend and fellow food blogger from Ecuador, Pilar of Confieso que Cocino, was recently visiting her sister-in-law in the Seattle area. We visited some of the popular food places in the area, including Pike Place Market and Uwajimaya. Obviously we also cooked together and one of the dishes we made was this shrimp and corn chowder recipe. We knew we wanted to make a comforting soup and wanted to use seafood. We also wanted to make sure the soup could be made easily both in Seattle and in Ecuador. The idea of a chowder style recipe came up because we were talking about Lent and Ecuador’s traditional lent soup called fanesca, which is made with cod and a variety of grains/legumes. However we wanted to keep it simple and a locro style chowder seemed a better option than a fanesca style dish. [read more]