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Fanesca - Ecuadorian Spring Soup

Fanesca - Ecuadorian Spring soup - With rice, beans and vegetables, it is a hearty filling soup that can serve as a meal on its own!
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Ecuadorian


  • 1 pound boneless salt cod
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 4 tablespoons oil achiote oil will give you better color and flavor
  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups kabocha or calabaza pumpkin peeled, boiled and mashed
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 cup cooked or canned beans
  • ½ cup ground peanuts
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 3 sliced hard boiled eggs to serve
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to serve


  • Soak the cod for 4 hours, changing the water every hour.
  • Boil cod in a pot of water. Once the fish is cooked, remove the fish and reserve the liquid.
  • By hand, check for bones and shred.
  • Bring milk and 1 cup of water to a boil.
  • Add rice and stir to combine.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
  • All the vegetables need to be cooked beforehand. You can boil, roast or saute the zucchini, peas, green beans, corn and cabbage. To make it even easier, you can microwave all the veggies separately.
  • In a large pot, heat oil.
  • Add onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are softened.
  • Add oregano, cumin, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 cup water, 2 cups reserved fish stock, milk and cream. SEE NOTES
  • Stir to combine.
  • Add the mashed pumpkin and peanuts and mix well.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add the zucchini, peas, green beans, corn, cabbage, beans, fish and rice. Stir to combine.
  • Simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Adjust salt as needed.
  • Add queso fresco and stir to combine.
  • To serve, garnish with the eggs and Parmesan cheese.


Once the rice is added, the soup will become quite thick. Add more of the reserved stock or milk as needed, if the soup becomes too thick.
Even when using boneless cod, there are often still stray bones so it is important to check for bones in the fish before adding to the soup.