September 23

Locro de Papa

I ran across this recipe the other day and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I don’t know what about it made it stick in my brain. I mean, this is essentially a watery chowder. But I think the lame food geek in me was excited because it wasn’t some crap American meal. This was ~international~; this was Andean (sort of – its origin is Ecuador, but everyone has their own version). Anything dealing with international cuisine is far superior to American, any day of the week. Or at least, that’s my opinion.

This soup is very simple. Just a handful of ingredients that don’t even break the bank! That’s the type of food I like, in general, but it’s even better when you can throw something together with no stops at the grocery store. Unfortunately, for this particular recipe, I did have to go buy some queso fresco.This was the first time I had to buy such an ingredient. To be honest, I didn’t even know what it was. I mean, I understood the translation to be “fresh cheese”, but considering it’s probably been in Walmart’s cheese section for a couple weeks… why was it so special? Turns out, it’s nothing super special. I mean, it’s a great cheese. It’s light, both in flavor, color, and weight, and would be a fantastic pairing for all sorts of meals. Luckily, I didn’t have to pay out the butt for it; otherwise, I would have felt a bit jipped. I would think a mozzarella or similar would be comparable. Either way, I was following the recipe – for once – and seeing what happened.

We were both very happy with the results. There were a lot of leftovers, since the recipe makes a bunch, and I even took some to a friend who absolutely loved it. Whether it’s the recipe or my awesome ability to put things in a pot and follow directions, we’ll never know ;) I know this for sure, though, this is definitely going on the any time food list.

Locro de Papa

source: theKitchn [Andean Potato & Cheese Soup]

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 pounds (about 4 fist-sized) all-purpose potatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Pinch dried chile flakes
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 ears ripe corn, kernels sliced off (or 2 cups frozen corn)
1 cup peas
6 ounces (1 well-rounded cup) queso fresco, cubed
1 cup whole milk
Salt
Pepper

Directions

1) Warm a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a large pot (at least 5 quarts) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent and just starting to turn golden-brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the potatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until the edges of the potatoes are beginning to soften, another 5 minutes.

2) Clear a space in the middle of the pan and add the garlic, oregano, and cayenne. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir into the onions and potatoes. Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

3) Add the corn kernels, peas, queso fresco, and milk to the soup. Bring back to a simmer (do not boil) and cook until the corn and peas are tender, another 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

This soup will keep refrigerated for a week. If freezing, remove the portion of soup to be frozen before adding the milk.

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