Fanesca is an Ecuadorean soup that is traditionally served during Holy Week. The unique combination of flavors melds surprisingly well, resulting in a rich and creamy bisque.
I often replace peanut butter with almond butter, squash with sweet potato or lima beans with edamame (fresh soybeans).
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, preferably light
- 1/2 cup lentils (any kind), rinsed
- 1/4 cup uncooked basmati rice, rinsed
- 1 cup winter squash or pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 cup lima beans
- 1 cup cooked hominy or uncooked sweet corn
- 1 1/2 cups cooked beans (pinto, navy or kidney beans)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (preferably unsweetened natural peanut butter)
- 8 ounces firm white fish, such as halibut, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin and bay leaf and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Do not allow the garlic to brown.
Add the broth and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the lentils and rice and return to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add the squash and cook for 5 minutes. Add the lima beans and corn and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cooked beans and cook for 3 minutes.
Ladle about 1 cup of broth into a bowl and whisk in the peanut butter until smooth. Return this mixture to the pot and return to a simmer. The vegetables should be cooked through and the rice tender. Add the fish and simmer just until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.
Recipe by Cheryl Forberg.
Tested by Cheryl Forberg.
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