This family recipe was shared with us by A. B., and we were privileged to be there to document the process. Locally it is known as locro, which refers to the thick style of soup. See the notes at the end for additional variations of this recipe.
Traditional Ecuadorian potato soup
This is a traditional soup, straight from the Andes in Ecuador.
Gather your ingredients
It is best to use a potato variety that does not break down quickly. Locally there is a variety known as Chola, which is perfect for this soup.
Dice the potatoes
Cut your potatoes into 4-6 pieces according to size.
Cook the potatoes
Place your potatoes in a large pot and cover them with water. Boil the potatoes on high with the pot covered. When you see foam (after around 10 minutes), remove with a spoon. Do this a total of 3 times. In the last round there should not be too much foam. Do not mix the potatoes, otherwise they will break down.
While you are waiting for the potatoes to cook, dice the green onion and the garlic.
After removing the foam three times, add the green onions, garlic, butter, and salt (you can now begin stirring with a spoon). Mix only enough for the vegetables to be evenly spread. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
When the potatoes are almost done, add the milk and boil only until the potatoes are done. Add the milk in parts, and only add what is needed. If you add too much, the soup will be too thin.
When the potatoes are done, smash some of them to thicken the soup and boil for another 5-10 minutes (if you are at high altitude, it may take a bit longer). It will thicken a bit more, and you will need to stir to not burn on the bottom.
Add the cheese and bay leaf. Season with salt to taste and mix a bit more. Turn off the heat and cover the pot for a few minutes to allow the bay leaf to flavor the soup.
This soup is delicious with a slice of avocado and mozzarella cheese.
- Potato soup (locro) with spinach or Swiss chard: add 1-2 cups of raw diced Swiss chard or spinach right before adding the cheese, since it will cook quickly.
- A creamier potato soup: add 1/4 cup of cream together with the milk at the end.
Cooking times will depend on the altitude. The higher you are, the longer it will take to cook.