Fanesca (Fish and Grain Soup) 8.000
Jan 14, 2004

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).

Servings: 8
  • 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.

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Recipe Source

Recipe by Cheryl Forberg.

Tested by Cheryl Forberg.

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