Warm Up Your Soul with a Bowl of Fanesca - Quito's Traditional Easter Dish

April 4, 2023

Fanesca

If you're looking for a hearty and flavorful meal to warm up your soul this Easter, look no further than Fanesca, a traditional dish from Quito, Ecuador. Fanesca is a delicious soup that's perfect for celebrating Easter and the start of spring. Here's everything you need to know about this traditional dish.

What is Fanesca?

Fanesca is a soup made with a variety of ingredients, including grains, beans, and vegetables. The dish is traditionally served during Easter week in Quito, and it's a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. Fanesca is made with ingredients that are native to Ecuador, and each region has its own unique take on the dish.

How is Fanesca made?

The base of Fanesca is made with a combination of grains and beans, including corn, fava beans, and peas. The soup is then flavored with a variety of spices, including onion, garlic, and cumin. Other ingredients, such as potatoes, squash, and cheese, are added to the soup to give it additional flavor and texture. Finally, the soup is garnished with toasted corn, fried plantains, and a hard-boiled egg.

Why is Fanesca served during Easter?

Fanesca is traditionally served during Holy Week in Quito, which is the week leading up to Easter Sunday. The dish is meant to symbolize the diversity of Ecuadorian culture, as it combines ingredients from different regions of the country. In addition, Fanesca is a hearty and filling meal that's perfect for celebrating the end of Lent and the start of spring.

Where can you find Fanesca in Quito?

If you're in Quito during Easter week, you'll have no trouble finding Fanesca. The soup is a staple of many restaurants and cafes in the city, and it's also served in many homes during the holiday. Some of the best places to try Fanesca include La Choza, Café Mosaico, and Tianguez.

How can you make Fanesca at home?

If you can't make it to Quito for Easter, you can still enjoy Fanesca at home. While the recipe for Fanesca can vary depending on the region, here's a basic recipe to get you started:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried fava beans
  • 1 cup dried corn kernels
  • 1 cup dried lima beans
  • 1 cup dried peas
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound pumpkin, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound cassava, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound queso fresco or another soft cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toasted corn, fried plantains, and hard-boiled eggs for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Soak the beans and corn overnight in water.
  2. Drain the beans and corn, and place them in a large pot with enough water to cover.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans and corn are tender.
  4. Add the peas, onion, garlic, and spices to the pot, and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.
  5. Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, and cassava to the pot, and simmer for another 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Add the cubed cheese and heavy cream to the pot, and stir until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy.
  7. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve the soup hot, garnished with toasted corn, fried plantains, and a hard-boiled egg.

Conclusion

Fanesca is a traditional dish that's perfect for celebrating Easter and the start of spring. This hearty and flavorful soup is made with a variety of ingredients that are native to Ecuador, and it's a symbol of the diversity of Ecuadorian culture. Whether you're in Quito or making Fanesca at home, this soup is sure to warm up your soul and satisfy your taste buds.

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FAQs

  1. What makes Fanesca different from other soups? Fanesca is made with a combination of grains, beans, and vegetables that are native to Ecuador, giving it a unique flavor and texture.
  2. What are some variations of Fanesca? While the basic ingredients of Fanesca remain the same, different regions of Ecuador may add or substitute certain ingredients to the soup. For example, some regions may use chochos (Andean lupins) or habas (broad beans) instead of fava beans.
  3. Can Fanesca be made vegetarian or vegan? Yes, Fanesca can be made vegetarian by omitting the cheese and cream, and vegan by using non-dairy substitutes for the cream.
  4. Is Fanesca only served during Easter? Yes, Fanesca is traditionally served during Holy Week in Quito, but it can be enjoyed year-round in some restaurants and cafes.
  5. What other traditional dishes are popular in Ecuador? Other popular traditional dishes in Ecuador include ceviche, locro de papas, and hornado.