Total Time
12hrs 50mins
Prep 12 hrs
Cook 50 mins

Fanesca is a salty peanut and cream-based soup served in the Andes of Ecuador for Easter. The traditional recipe has 12 grains for the 12 disciples and fish in observance of the Catholic meat regulations, and was made with care and much preparation shelling and cooking the grains. This is NOT the traditional recipe, but an imitation which is still delicious. This is a modification of a recipe from "Comidas del Ecuador" by Michelle O. Fried, which is a wonderful book which I highly recommend, but contains recipes which can often be simplified. If you can find chochos, which are small, white, bitter beans, wonderful; the stew will still turn out delicious without. The same is true for any of the adornments, for that matter. If you can find prepared empanadas, they are often served as an additional adornment. Any mild squashes will do instead of sambo. Although completely nontraditional, I enjoy cutting down the dairy and adding a dallop of sour cream and some cilantro upon serving. Prep time factors in bean and fish soaking times.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Ahead of time, cook the squashes, cabbage, rice and beans separately and soak the fish. Save the liquids from the beans and fish.
  2. If the broad beans still have the shells, remove them.
  3. When ready to prepare:.
  4. 1. In a large pot, fry onion in 1 T butter with achiote and 3 minced cloves of garlic until the onion is transparent.
  5. 2. Add pepper and1/4 tsp cumin and fry additional minute.
  6. 3. Cut the fish in medium sized pieces (to preference).
  7. 4. Add a half cup of saved fish water, half-and-half, and the bean water to make one liter of liquid. If the bean water does not reach a liter, add water.
  8. 5. Add peanut butter, squash, sambo, cabbage, and rice; boil for 20 minutes, stirring, until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  9. 6. Add the hominy, both types of beans (make sure the broad beans have no shells), and peas, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. 7. Add the fish, simmer for 5 minutes. More of the fish water may be added to taste.
  11. 8. Add chochos.
  12. Top with any/all of the following:.
  13. 1. Fried plantain: Cut the plantains into pieces about an inch long, microwave until soft, press flat with a flat knife or a can, and fry in oil of your choice until golden brown.
  14. 2. Hard-boiled egg, peeled and halved.
  15. 3. Empanadas.