Locro de papas
Obviously Mr Colonial Cravings and I take any and every opportunity to travel somewhere new so we didn’t really take the most direct route back from Maryland to Gloucestershire. Nope. We went via Ecuador.
I’ve wanted to visit the Galapagos islands since I was very little when my dad had a David Attenborough book about them. They totally lived up to my expectations, we had the most amazing time. I just wish that we’d had more time to explore the mainland. We only spent a couple of days in Quito but it seemed like a fantastic city. Exploring the local food is always one of the most important factors of travel for me and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with this hearty, comforting soup.
It’s deliciously velvety and the toppings add wonderful texture and flavour. I’ll be honest, it was the avocado topping that first caught my attention on the menu (you know I’m a sucker for avocado).
Unsurprisingly I struggled to find cotija cheese in Cheltenham so I made do with some paneer. You can use whatever you like so long as it’s fairly fresh tasting and will hold it’s shape (more or less) in the hot soup.
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chili powder/cayenne (use whatever suits your taste)
400ml vegetable stock
3 tbsp cream
non-melting cheese (see above)
Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic and peel and dice the potatoes. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and gently fry the onions, don’t let them colour too much. Add the spices and garlic and cook gently for a minute or two. Toss in the potatoes and stir everything together. Pour in the vegetable stock, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the milk and the cream. Whenever I’ve eaten this soup it hasn’t been completely smooth so at this stage I like to scoop out a few ladles of the potato chunks before blending the rest with a stick blender but really the texture is totally up to you. Stir the chunky spuds back into the soup and put it back on the heat so that it’s piping hot for serving.
Top the bowls with slices of avocado, cubes of cheese, chopped coriander and a handful of corn nuts.