The grated plantain in this coastal Ecuadoran soup gives the dish a wonderfully light and creamy body. Tiny and virtually flavorless, annatto seeds, also known as achiote seeds, are commonly used throughout Latin America to add a distinctive reddish yellow color to sautéed foods. They are available in Latin markets and the Latin section of some supermarkets. At Zafra, Chef Maricel Presilla accents her Ecuadoran chowders, as well as grilled chicken and fish, with this crisp salsa. To turn up the heat, add 1 finely chopped fresh chile, such as cayenne or serrano. This delicious recipe is from Food & Wine, May 2001.
MAKE AHEAD: The Annatto Oil can be refrigerated in a tightly sealed jar for up to 2 months. The salsa can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Note: Please check refrigeration times in the instructions, they are not included in prep or cook time.