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Locro de papa {Ecuadorian potato and cheese soup}

Ecuadorian locro de papa or potato soup

Locro de papa is a classic Ecuadorian potato and cheese soup. Soups are very popular in Ecuador and usually served with most meals. They are one of the cheapest and best tasting dishes you can find. A typical Ecuadorian meal will consist of primero or the first course, segundo or second course- usually meat, poultry or seafood with rice; and dessert. Soups are usually served as a primero and most soups -as well as a lot of other dishes- are always served with avocado and aji or hot sauce.

Locro de papa recipe

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Ecuadorian locro de papa or potato soup

Locro de papa {Ecuadorian potato and cheese soup}

Recipe for locro de papa or potato soup, a traditional Ecuadorian soup made with potatoes, onion, garlic, cumin, achiote or annatto, milk, cheese and cilantro.
4.69 from 376 votes
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Course: Soup, Starter
Cuisine: Ecuadorian, Latin
Keyword: Cheese, Ecuadorian potato soup, Locro, Locro de papa, Potatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 10 medium sized potatoes peeled and chopped into small and large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp achiote powder
  • 7 cups of water
  • 1 cup of milk or more
  • 1 cup grated or crumbled cheese quesillo, queso fresco, mozzarella or monterey jack
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves only, minced
  • Salt to taste

To serve:

Instructions

  • Prepare a refrito or base for the soup by heating the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot; add the diced onions, minced garlic cloves, cumin, and achiote powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes to the pot and mix until they are coated with the refrito. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring a every couple of minutes.
  • Add the water and bring to boil, cook until the potatoes are very tender. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the pot, don’t mash all of them, the consistency of the soup should be creamy with small tender chunks of potatoes.
  • Turn the heat down to low, stir in the milk and let cook for about 5 more minutes. You can add more milk if the soup is too thick.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add the grated cheese and cilantro, mix well, and remove from the heat.
  • Serve warm with the avocados, scallions, queso or feta cheese and aji hot sauce.

Locro de papa is more common in the Andes highlands or Sierra region of Ecuador. Quito probably has the biggest claim on this soup, it is even known as locro quiteño by some. Like many Ecuadorian dishes, the ingredients and preparation will vary from one city to another. Some variations of the locro de papa add fresh corn to the soup, others add chopped cabbage or leafy greens. There’s even a variation with blood sausage called yaguarlocro.

The last time I was there, the mother of one my friends made locro de papas without cheese and used freshly ground peanuts instead. She explained that when people couldn’t afford to buy cheese, they would use ground peanuts; the soup was good but I missed the cheese. In Quito and the northern part of Ecuador they usually serve this potato soup with maiz tostado or Andean corn nuts. This locro de papa is a great soup for cold rainy or snowy weather. It can be served as a first course, but is satisfying and filling enough to make a complete meal.

Step by step preparation photos for locro de papa {Ecuadorian potato and cheese soup}

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58 Comments

  1. Hey Layla!
    Thanks for sharing your recipes! I was looking for some Ecuadorian ones so I can offer some friends an Ecuadorian dinner, as I lived two years in Quito! :)
    Going to cook Locro de Papa, Patacones and LLapingachos and some of your sauce-recipes!

    Greetings from Austria
    Claudia

  2. I made this last night and it was amazing. My hardest part was finding the Achiote powder. After I tried my 3 usual stores that I shop and didn’t find it, I then Googled to find the nearest Latin market in my area and found it.

    It was absolutely delicious. I am going to modify the leftovers tomorrow night by adding some shredded chicken to it. I believe that it would also be good with ground beef added to it.

  3. I LOVE Locro de Papas and I could eat it every day. I winter in Cuenca, Ecuador where I have it in restaurants and my Ecuadorian friend makes it perfectly. Muy delicioso!

  4. Wow! I miss my abuelita’s locrito soup! She used to add spinach, corn, and carrots also to the locro. She grew up near the Andes and lived in Esmeraldas when she married my grandfather. We had a combination of Andes and Costena cooking all the time. Can’t wait to go back to Ecuador soon. In the meantime I’ll have to make it by using your recipe. Thank you!

  5. A year ago when I went back to visit Quito I ate gallons of Locro de papa because I am vegetarian. It was so delicious. I had to learn to ask at each restaurant what was in it because at the restaurant en el panecillo it was served with shredded chicken. I had never heard of it served that way. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes.

  6. As delicious as what we just ate in Quito, and very special to share with our friends here. They all wanted the recipe, too! We served it with popcorn to add to the soup or eat on the side. I like that it is so easily made from easily available ingredients, yet the result is so exciting.

    1. The locro we had in Quito this summer had an Ecuadorian cheese just labeled Holland cheese. We also were served this at breakfast and other meals. I have been unable to find a source for this cheese. Any ideas?

      1. I think you’re referring to a specific brand of cheese from Ecuador called La Holandesa – they make several different types of cheese including queso fresco, mozzarella, etc.

  7. anytime the novio wants to cook something I’ve never made before, I say “I hope Laylita has the recipe. another great one, of course. le agradecemos mucho!

  8. I just got back at the end of January from the International Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Quito. The most memorable food we had was the potato soup. Can’t wait to try making it for the group with whom I traveled. I think I can find everything here in central California but the Achiote. Thank you for posting the recipe. From the comments, I’d say it is the real deal.

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