Recipe: Ecuadorian Potato & Cheese soup with Avocado (Locro de papa con queso)

Makes a gallon (4 quarts)

If you’ve never had locro de papas, you’re in for a surprise. The fine people of Ecuador love this comforting and healthy soup, especially on a chilly day. And why not? Tinged orange from ground annato, most of the flavors remain familiar – potato, cheese, avocado, and cilantro. Feel free to substitute parsley if you hate cilantro. Just so long as you try this soup. You’ll love it.


1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground annato/achiote
3 giant baking potatoes, peeled and cubed (each about 6″ long)
2 cups of milk
enough water to cover the potatoes
1-3 cups extra milk for thinning to desired consistency
salt & pepper
1 cup shredded cheese Рcheddar or Monterey jack
a palmful of chopped cilantro

For the Garnish:

chopped cilantro
crumbled queso blanco
1-2 avocados, cubed
green onion, sliced


Prepare yourself for an assault of deliciousness.

First, cook the chopped onions in a large pot until softened.

While they’re cooking, add in the crushed garlic…

… cumin, and ground annato.

Next, cube up the potatoes and add to the pot. Size doesn’t matter because they’ll be pureed. Just remember, the larger you cut them, the longer they’ll take to cook.

Add 2 cups of milk and cover with water.

Simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. Then puree with extra milk, salt and pepper. I used my handy, dandy immersion blender. You could also use a plain old blender, but you’ll probably have to do it in a few batches.

Add enough milk to thin out the soup – it should pour out of the ladle – no plopping soup allowed.

You’re almost done! Stir in chopped cilantro and shredded cheese.

Top with the most wonderful combination of queso blanco, avocado, green onion, and cilantro.

If you’ll need me I’ll be swimming in this soup. For the rest of winter.

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  1. elisa waller says:

    this soup is if I can only taste it through the computer…haha..Yep my least afvorite herb might be cilantro..but only in certain things…i love it in salsa..but not really anything else…sofar…

  2. I have to make this soup! Sasha, you are so amazing. Your blog looks absolutely stunning. So happy for you girl! Can’t wait to get together. Oh…when are you going to the spa? I will babysit Miss Ava!

  3. Have you tried this soup with soy milk?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      No, I haven’t… If you are familiar with how soy milk behaves in soup making, use that knowledge and go for it! I’d be interested to hear how it comes out. :)

  4. Great dish. I love the flavors. I have also been making soups to carry out the winter months. I really like your photography too. Keep up the good work.

  5. Ooh, looks yummy! How important is the annato for the flavor? Because I live out in the country and I’m not too sure where I could find it. Or how much it would cost.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Hi Lilah – The soup can definitely be made without it and be just fine, but I’d say the annato provides the different “twist” that makes it taste like Ecuador. Did you know that’s what they use to make cheese look yellow? If you have a little latino market nearby, they’d definitely have it. I get mine at Whole Foods, but I’m not sure if other supermarkets carry it or not – it’s definitely worth a shot! Good luck and let me know how it goes :)


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