Ecuadorian Fanesca Soup

Ecuadorian Fanesca

Fanesca is a distinctly Ecuadorian dish that is not eaten in any other country. The concept of beans cooked in herbs and spices can be traced back to the Incan Empire, and is popular during indigenous New Year. Fanesca is traditionally consumed on Good Friday, served with fried plantains, pickled onions, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. Although, salted cod is a typical ingredient, we adapted the stew for fresh cod or chicken.
hands-on time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Ecuadorian
Servings 3 servings



  • 4 oz cod* or chicken breast optional
  • 1 cup great northern beans**

Fresh Produce

  • 1 small zucchini about 4 oz
  • 4 oz pumpkin/squash
  • 2 oz green cabbage
  • 1 cup corn kernels cooked
  • 1 cup green peas cooked
  • 1 plantain sliced (optional)

Staples Group 1: Liquid, Dairy, Fat

  • 1 cup broth vegetable or chicken
  • 1 cup milk any type
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter****
  • 2 oz heavy cream/cream cheese/feta***

Staples Group 3: Breading, Onion & Co

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro or parsley finely chopped

Culinary Spice Kit

  • 1 pouch Fanesca spice blend Annatto, garlic, cumin, oregano, basil

Optional Toppings

  • 1 large avocado sliced
  • 1 medium onion sliced and pickled in lime juice*****
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs sliced



  • In a small POT, add zucchini, pumpkin, cabbage, broth, and salt to taste.
  • Cook over medium heat until soft. Let it cool.
  • Blend it into a smooth puree.


  • In a medium POT, add butter, chopped onions, and Fanesca spices.
  • Fry over low-med. heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add puree, milk, peanut butter, corn, peas, beans, and salt & pepper to taste.
  • Cook over low-medium heat 30 minutes. Stir frequently.

Optional Soup Ingredients

  • Cut cod or chicken into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Add all or 1/3 of it to the soup. Cook until tender.
  • Add heavy cream, cream cheese, queso fresco, or feta to taste. Mix well.

Optional Toppings

  • In a PAN, heat oil or butter and fry until tender and brown:
  • (a) any remaining cod or chicken;
  • (b) plantain slices, sprinkle with salt to taste.


  • Top fanesca with plantain, avocado, herbs, eggs, pickled onions, pumpkin seeds, and fried cod or chicken.
  • Enjoy!


* This recipe is for fresh cod. For most authenticity, we recommend salted cod. The latter needs to be drained in water overnight to remove the salt.
** Use any type of beans or lentils that you prefer, one type or several types mixed.
*** Authentic is queso fresco.
**** Any other nut butter is fine too.
***** In a small CONTAINER, cover onion slices with lime or lemon juice. Close. Let it rest in the fridge for 24-48 hours.
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Karen Jones
Karen Jones
Wonderful, flavorful meals using readily available ingredients!
ann davis
ann davis
My daughter gave me a subscription as a Christmas present while our families were quarantining together. It was so much fun! It introduced us to several cuisines that were totally new to us. The recipes were easy to follow and the spices were transformative - fresh and pungent and delicious.
Jessica Brown
Jessica Brown
The best way to try new dishes!

Enter the Culinary World

Be Inspired | Explore your boundaries and creativity