Recipe: Potato Soup with Avocado
We took our animal-loving grandson on a thrilling journey to the Galapagos Islands last spring â€” a place of beauty, mystery and rich history. We saw Blue-footed Boobies, albatross, reef sharks, giant tortoises, and hundreds of other interesting creatures. We flew into Quito, Ecuador â€” an attractive city built on a plateau on the foothills of Pichincha Volcano.
During my stay, I had the pleasure of an Ecuadorean food lesson at San Francisco University, where studying to become a chef is a four-year degree course. Instructor Ana Teresa Perez explained that Ecuador is a country with only one season â€” summer. But the local cuisine is diverse, as the country has many different altitudes to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables (usually organic). There is plenty of seafood, and the cattle are grass-fed. Everyone eats locally, and the food is simple and tasty.
Although we were in Quito for a very short time, our favorite dinner was at Zasu, a Peruvian concept fusion restaurant with amazing food and beautiful presentations. Dinner for two was $100 but consisted of about five courses each. We also dined in the restaurant associated with the San Francisco University where students cook under the chef professor’s tutelage. The meal was excellent; the restaurant has both a four-course menu and other dishes you can try. As the students also study wine, the list was well matched. Our last meal was at the home of Perez where she served a delicious dinner of warm avocado soup, seafood rice, and a special bean cake made with ground lupine beans and no flour, perfect for the gluten free. Her Cookbook is for sale in Quito and is called Ecuador, Past Tradition For Today´s Table in English.
Below is an adapted recipe.
This potato soup is a traditional Ecuadorean starter.
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Ready time: 1 hour
– 1 kg (2 lbs) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
– 3 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tsp butter
– 1 cup onions, chopped
– 1/3 cup chopped shallots
– 1 tsp garlic, chopped
– Salt and freshly ground pepper
– 2 L (8 cups) water
– 3/4 cup milk
– 1/4 cup whipping cream
– 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
– 1/4 cup crumbled feta
– 2 tbsp corn nuts or cracked lentil chips
Cut half the potatoes into two-inch chunks. Cut remaining potatoes into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.
Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, shallots and garlic, and cook for three minutes or until starting to soften. Add the two-inch potatoes and cook until they are coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until potatoes are very tender and beginning to break down.
Transfer soup to a blender and purée in batches until smooth. Return soup to same pot and bring back to a simmer. Add reserved diced potatoes, milk and cream, and cook for 15 minutes more or until potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with sliced avocado, feta, and corn.