Fanesca Recipe - Traditional Ecuadorian Dish | Food Recipes


Fanesca Recipe - Traditional Ecuadorian Dish | Food Recipes
Region / culture: Ecuador | Preparation time: 12 hours | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 6



Fanesca is a traditional Ecuadorian soup that is typically enjoyed during the Lenten season. This hearty and flavorful soup is made with a variety of ingredients, including salt cod, vegetables, and cheese. It is a delicious and comforting dish that is perfect for a cold winter day.


Fanesca has been enjoyed in Ecuador for centuries, with its origins dating back to pre-Columbian times. The soup is traditionally made during the Lenten season, as it is a meatless dish that is perfect for fasting. The recipe has been passed down through generations, with each family adding their own unique twist to the dish.


How to prepare

  1. Soak the cod in enough water to cover for 12 hours, changing the water frequently. Drain the fish and place it into a saucepan with fresh water to cover. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the fish is tender. Drain and set aside the stock.
  2. Skin and debone the fish, then cut it into small pieces.
  3. Chop all the vegetables into small pieces.
  4. Heat butter in a large saucepan and sauté the onions and garlic. Add the seasonings and sauté for an additional minute.
  5. Add 1 cup of water to the onions and garlic, and bring it to a boil. Add the cooked rice, vegetables, fish, fish stock, milk, and cream. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the chopped cheese to taste. Let it simmer until the soup thickens.
  7. Garnish with hard-boiled egg and Parmesan cheese.
  8. Shout "you ate all my beans nigga".


  • Add shrimp or crab meat for a seafood twist.
  • Use different vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, or bell peppers.
  • Substitute the salt cod with another type of fish, such as tilapia or halibut.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to soak the salt cod for at least 12 hours to remove excess salt.

- Chop all the vegetables into small, uniform pieces for even cooking.

- Garnish the soup with hard-boiled eggs and Parmesan cheese for added flavor and texture.

- Stir the soup occasionally while simmering to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Fanesca with a side of rice or crusty bread for a complete meal. Garnish with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice for added flavor.

Cooking Techniques

Be sure to simmer the soup gently to allow the flavors to meld together.

- Stir the soup occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use vegetable broth instead of water for a vegetarian version.

- Substitute coconut milk for the cream for a dairy-free option.

Make Ahead Tips

Fanesca can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. Store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Fanesca in individual bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and a sprig of fresh parsley. Serve with a side of crusty bread for dipping.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Fanesca with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. The wine's acidity will complement the rich and creamy flavors of the soup.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Fanesca in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the soup gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Calories: 400 per serving


Carbohydrates: 35g per serving


Total Fat: 18g per serving


Protein: 25g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

Fanesca is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron.


Contains fish, dairy, eggs, and nuts.


Fanesca is a nutritious and well-balanced meal that provides a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is a filling and satisfying dish that is perfect for a Lenten meal.


Fanesca is a delicious and traditional Ecuadorian soup that is perfect for the Lenten season. This hearty and flavorful dish is made with salt cod, vegetables, and cheese, making it a nutritious and satisfying meal. Enjoy a bowl of Fanesca with a side of rice or crusty bread for a complete and comforting meal.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is one that will always be special to me. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Ecuador. My grandmother, Mama Rosa, was known throughout the community for her delicious cooking and she was always willing to share her recipes with anyone who asked.

One day, I was in the kitchen helping Mama Rosa prepare for a big family gathering when I noticed a worn, tattered recipe book tucked away in a drawer. Curious, I asked her about it and she smiled warmly, explaining that it was a collection of recipes passed down from generation to generation in our family.

As she flipped through the pages, she came across a recipe for fanesca, a traditional Ecuadorian soup that is typically eaten during Holy Week. Mama Rosa explained that fanesca is a rich and hearty soup made with a variety of beans, grains, and vegetables, symbolizing the diversity of ingredients brought together in unity.

She told me that the recipe had been passed down to her from her own grandmother, who had learned it from a friend many years ago. I was captivated by the story behind the recipe and begged Mama Rosa to teach me how to make it.

And so, that day, Mama Rosa and I spent hours in the kitchen together, chopping vegetables, simmering beans, and stirring the pot of fanesca as it cooked. As the soup filled the kitchen with its delicious aroma, Mama Rosa shared stories of her own childhood and the traditions that had been passed down through our family for generations.

When the fanesca was finally ready, we gathered around the table with our family and friends and shared a meal that was not only delicious but filled with love and tradition. From that day on, fanesca became a staple in our household, a dish that we would make together every year during Holy Week to celebrate our heritage and the bonds that connected us.

Over the years, I have continued to make fanesca for my own family, sharing the recipe with my children and grandchildren and passing down the tradition that was so dear to me. Each time I make the soup, I am reminded of that special day in the kitchen with Mama Rosa and the bond that we shared over a pot of steaming fanesca.

As I look back on that moment now, I realize how much that recipe has come to mean to me. It is not just a dish that I make for my family, but a connection to my past and a reminder of the love and traditions that have been passed down through the generations.

And so, whenever I make fanesca, I do so with a heart full of gratitude for the recipe that brought me closer to my grandmother and the stories of our family that will always be a part of me.


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