58. Ecuador: Locro de Papas

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Aah Ecuador, the middle of the earth, literally! The equator runs straight through the capital city, Quito. What’s in a name right? (You see ecuador-equator :D) Although one of smaller countries in South America it has a lot to offer: Amazone rainforest, Andes mountains and just of the coast the Galapagos Islands where Charles Darwin developed his world changing Evolution Theory. Food wise Ecuadorians are known for eating guinee pigs, but don’t worry no guinee pigs in my house, it’s not even available here. Quito is divided in two parts old town (more then 600 years old) and new town (100 years old) is more modern and represents how people live now. Ecuador has Incan ruins too. While neighboring Peru, home of Machu Pichu, is best known for its Incan ruins, Ecuador also has a powerful Incan legacy. Most of the Incan sites were destroyed by the Spanish, but there are still Incan and pre-Incan ruins scattered across the country. The best-preserved Incan ruin is Ingapirca

Schermafbeelding 2015-06-07 om 13.09.03

Things you didn’t know about Ecuador:

  • Spanish isn’t the only language Ecuadorians speak. Quechua is an indigenous language that is widely spoken. It was here long before Europeans arrived and has no relationship to Spanish. Don’t worry: most people speak Spanish as well.
  • The summit of Ecuador’s Chimborazo volcano is one of the highest points in the world. Due to the curvature of the Earth, it’s actually the point on the Earth’s surface furthest from the center of the planet.
  • Don’t bother hitting up the currency exchange! Ecuador’s official currency is the US dollar. The country traded in their old currency, the Sucre, for the dollar in the year 2000.
  • Perhaps more than any other South American nation, indigenous culture is alive and well in Ecuador. All South American nations include elements of both Spanish and indigenous cultures, but in Ecuador, many positions of importance are held by indigenous persons and indigenous culture is widely celebrated and preserved in dress, beliefs, language, and folklore.
  • While you might believe that the panama hat is from Panama, it is not. While these hats were sold in Panama, they were traditionally made in Ecuador, and the finest Panama hats still come from this country.

Locro de Papas also known as cheese and potato soup is, the thought of putting cheese and potato in one soup didn’t really appeal to me at first but that was before I tried this! you really need to ad stuff to it to make taste epic because on it’s own it can be a little bland.

Locro de papas

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

  1. Prepare a refit 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. Add the grated cheese and cilantro, mix well, and remove from the heat.
  7. Serve warm with the avocados, scallions, queso or feta cheese.
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