Locro De Papa from Ecuador: A Creamy Potato and Cheese Soup

Locro de Papa from Ecuador is a creamy soup consisting of potato and cheese, flavoured with coriander and spices and topped with an abundance of fun garnishes. It makes for an excellent starter or a light supper.

Locro de Papa Ecuador Recipe

Country Number 51: Ecuador

Our dish today hails from Ecuador, which lies along the north-western edge of South America. Ecuador is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, and falls across the Equator, with Colombia to the northeast and Peru to the southeast. Ecuador is well known for being host to various UNESCO world heritage sites, such as the Galapagos Islands and the historicαl city of Cuenca. It also boasts Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano, and an extensive biodiversity, with Amazonian rainforests and beaches in abundance.

The region of Ecuador was originally home to various Amerindian peoples, including the Quitu, who founded Quito, Ecuador’s modern-day capital city, and were dominant in the region from circa 2000BC until the point of the Inca invasion in circa 15th century AD. The region was then invaded by the Spanish in the 16th century, from which Ecuador obtained independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, and then emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. It has had a few border disputes and conflicts with its neighbours since then, the last of which occurred with Peru and fell between 1995 and 1999. In consequence of its various inhabitants, it has a diverse cultural population, with the majority of the population consisting of Mestizos, and large minorities of Amerindians, Europeans, and Africans. Its official language is Spanish, however 13 native languages are also acknowledged, including Quechua and Shuar.

History of Ecuadorian Cuisine

In consequence of its diverse landscapes, Ecuador has an extensive range of native ingredients. Seafood is common along the coast, the tropical regions provide various fruits, and the Andes provide crops such as quinoa, corn, and native potatoes in abundance. The spicy chilli hot sauce aji is a common condiment to many meals. Ceviche is popular, and soups and stews are often served with meals.

Popular Ecuadorian Vegetarian Dishes

  • Patacones – Fried plantain chips that can be served with a variety of toppings including guacamole and melted cheese.
  • Empanadas de queso – buttery cheese-stuffed pastries.
  • Llapingachos – potato pancakes stuffed with cheese and onions.
  • Locro de papa – potato and cheese soup.
  • Rosca de coco – a soft, brioche-like braided bread stuffed with a creamy coconut paste.

Vegetarian rating of Ecuadorian Cuisine:

Locro de Papa Ecuador Recipe

Making Locro De Papa from Ecuador

The dish we decided to make, locro de papa, is common in the Andes highlands or Sierra region of Ecuador. Quito, the capital city, has the biggest claim on the soup, as suggestive by its other name, locro quiteño. As with many Ecuadorian dishes, the ingredients and preparation vary from region to region depending on what local ingredients are most at hand, such as fresh corn, greens, cabbage, sausages or chicken. Locro de papa soup consists of a potato and cheese base, which makes it super creamy, hearty and delicious. It also is always served with lots of fun toppings, which makes the dish feel a little more subsantial than if it was just a bowl of liquid.

How to make Locro de Papa from Ecuador

  1. Make the refrito (base) by adding onions, garlic, and spices to a soup pot with oil and sautéing until tender, around 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the diced potatoes and toss to coat. Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add water, bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Mash the majority of the potatoes with a masher, leaving a few chunks. The consistency should be creamy with a few chunks of potato.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer, add milk and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste.
  5. Stir in cheese and coriander just before serving.
Locro de Papa Ecuador Recipe

Ingredient notes for Potato and Cheese Soup (Locro De Papa)

  • Queso fresco – A white, generally unaged cheese made from fresh cow, goat or sheep’s milk. If you cannot buy this in your local store, you can make your own or substitute with a combination of feta and grated mozzarella.
  • Achiote powder – this red-hued spice is made from ground annatto seeds. You can find it in speciality stores, or substitute with smoked paprika if you cannot find it (although this is more for the colour than the flavour it provides).
  • Aji sauce – a hot sauce which varies from region to region in Latin America. You can make your own quite easily as you wait for the soup to cook, or substitute with another hot sauce or salsa of your choice.
Locro de Papa Ecuador Recipe

Serving suggestions for Potato and Cheese Soup (Locro De Papa)

Serve topped with more crumbled or grated cheese, coriander, spring onions, sliced avocados, aji hot sauce and toasted corn kernels.

Locro de Papa Ecuador Recipe

Potato and Cheese Soup (Locro De Papa from Ecuador)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Ecuadorian specialty, locro de papa, is a creamy soup consisting of potatoes, cheese, coriander, spices and topped with an abundance of garnishes. It makes for an excellent starter or a light supper.

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3.5 cups water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco, mozzarella, or feta
  • ½ bunch of fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To serve:

  • 1/2 cup queso fresco, mozzarella, or feta, crumbled
  • Chopped coriander
  • Sliced spring onions
  • Sliced avocados
  • Aji hot sauce
  • Corn kernals, toasted

Instructions

  1. Make the refrito (base) by adding onions, garlic, cumin, achiote and a dash of salt to a soup pot with oil and sautéing until tender, around 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the diced potatoes and toss to coat. Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add water, bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Mash the majority of the potatoes with a masher, leaving a few chunks. The consistency should be creamy with a few chunks of potato remaining.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer, add milk and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste.
  5. Stir in cheese and coriander just before serving.
  6. Serve immediately topped with more cheese, fresh coriander, spring onions, avocados, aji hot sauce and toasted corn kernels.

Notes

Recipe Inspired by Laylita

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment & review above or share a photo on Instagram tagging @polkadotpassport so I can reshare your creations!

Did you make locro de papa from Ecudor? We’d love to know! Tell us how it went in the comments below or tag us (@gourmetvegetarians) in your photos on Instagram.

Other delicious dishes to try

Like this locro de papa from Ecuador? Pin it for later!

Here's how to make locoro de papa from Ecuador
Nicola Easterby Bio Image

HEY THERE, I'M NICOLA!

I am on a mission to discover the BEST destinations & dishes from around the world. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or into the kitchen, come join the adventure!

10 Best Barcelona Beach Clubs and Bars (2022)

10 Best Barcelona Beach Clubs and Bars (2022)

Barcelona is undeniably home to some of the beach clubs and bars in the world. These are the spots to visit if you want to experience the city's vibrant nightlife! Barcelona is one of Spain's most popular destinations, thanks to its rich culture, delicious food and...

read more
10 Best Islands in the Galapagos to Visit in 2022

10 Best Islands in the Galapagos to Visit in 2022

If you are planning a trip to the Galapagos and wondering which islands to visit, look no further. These are the 10 best Galapagos islands to visit in 2022! The Galapagos Islands are truly a bucket list-worthy destination. The archipelago lies 1,000km off the coast of...

read more
Tiramisu Overnight Oats Recipe (Healthy + Vegan!)

Tiramisu Overnight Oats Recipe (Healthy + Vegan!)

This tiramisu overnight oats recipe is the ultimate dessert for breakfast. Made with layers of decadent chocolate coffee oats and vegan vanilla cream, it's everyone's favourite tiramisu dessert made healthy! There is no type of recipe that I enjoy developing more than...

read more

READ NEXT:

Mango Sour Recipe

Mango Sour Recipe

Mango Sour is a tangy, sweet and spicy Guyanese condiment. It's used as a dipping sauce for many savoury dishes and is HIGHLY addictive! I don't know about you, but I LOVE a good condiment. As it turns out, so do the people of Guyana, which is a small country located...

read more
10 Best Islands in the Galapagos to Visit in 2022

10 Best Islands in the Galapagos to Visit in 2022

If you are planning a trip to the Galapagos and wondering which islands to visit, look no further. These are the 10 best Galapagos islands to visit in 2022! The Galapagos Islands are truly a bucket list-worthy destination. The archipelago lies 1,000km off the coast of...

read more
Tiramisu Overnight Oats Recipe (Healthy + Vegan!)

Tiramisu Overnight Oats Recipe (Healthy + Vegan!)

This tiramisu overnight oats recipe is the ultimate dessert for breakfast. Made with layers of decadent chocolate coffee oats and vegan vanilla cream, it's everyone's favourite tiramisu dessert made healthy! There is no type of recipe that I enjoy developing more than...

read more

READ NEXT:

Botswana Cuisine: 10 Traditional Foods to Try

Botswana Cuisine: 10 Traditional Foods to Try

Everything you need to know about Botswana cuisine, including its history, customs, and the top traditional Botswana foods to try. History of Botswana cuisine Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa that is one of the most sparsely populated in the world....

read more
Mango Sour Recipe

Mango Sour Recipe

Mango Sour is a tangy, sweet and spicy Guyanese condiment. It's used as a dipping sauce for many savoury dishes and is HIGHLY addictive! I don't know about you, but I LOVE a good condiment. As it turns out, so do the people of Guyana, which is a small country located...

read more
10 Best Northern Ireland Glamping Spots

10 Best Northern Ireland Glamping Spots

Looking to go glamping in Northern Ireland in 2022? From glamping pods with hot tubs to luxury yurts, these are the 10 best places to go glamping in NI! Northern Ireland is easily one of the most beautiful and underrated places in the world. From its luminous greenery...

read more
Skip to Recipe