Vegan Locro De Papa (Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Soup)

September 17, 2020

Soups

By: Jasmine Briones 

A thick and hearty potato and cheese soup that is perfect for the cold winter months. This locro de papa is easy to make, requires just one pot and will be ready in about 1 hour.

a close up of locro de papa with avocado, cilantro and vegan cheese on top in a white speckled bowl

Today I am bringing a recipe to you that was made with help from my abuelita 🙂 Making food with her, even when it is virtual, is one of my favorite things to do. It has helped to both connect more with her as well as my roots and it has also helped bring so many delicious new flavors and dishes into my life!

Locro is a thick and hearty stew that is popular along the Andes mountain range and is popular in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Southern Colombia and Argentina. There are many variations that exist, but today I am bringing you the Ecuadorian potato and cheese version.

Vegan ingredientd for locro de papa on a marble board

A few notes on the ingredients before we get started:

  • Vegan Butter: We use vegan butter for this recipe but feel free to use a cooking oil of your choice instead.
  • Onions: Red onions will work for this recipe too! 
  • Oregano: Optional if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Achiote powder: Also known as annatto or achuete. This ingredient can be skipped if you are unable to find it. Achiote oils are also available and can be used instead the oil + powder in this recipe, too, we were just unable to purchase it locally. 
  • Potatoes: We peel these but you can keep the peels on if you don’t mind them!
  • Warm water and almond milk: Keep these warm so that they do do not ruin the pan.
  • Any unsweetened plan based milk of your choice can be used.
  • Cilantro: I know some people do not like the flavor of cilantro so you can skip this as needed.
three bowls of orange locro de papa soup topped with avocado, vegan cheese and cilantro with a white towel and bread on the side

What I love about this locro de papa recipe is how easy and approachable it is, so that more of you are able to try it out! I put as many notes as I could to answer any questions that you have about ingredients and I let you know what you could leave out in case you couldn’t find specific ingredients. And as always, have fun with this recipe and feel free to put your own twist on it! What I love about cooking is how much variation there is room for, especially when a lot of you may have different flavor preferences than I do.

If you like this Locro de Papa, you may also like:

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a close up of locro de papa with avocado, cilantro and vegan cheese on top in a white speckled bowl

Vegan Locro De Papa (Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Soup)


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 5 Servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A thick and hearty potato and cheese soup that is perfect for the cold winter months. It’s easy to make, requires just one pot and less than an hour of your time. 


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (or oil of choice)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup diced yellow onions
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon achiote powder * (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 lb. peeled and roughly chopped yukon gold potatoes * (about 7; see notes)
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • 3/4 cup warm unsweetened almond milk (or plant based milk of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese + more for serving * (see notes)

Garnish with

  • Cilantro
  • Vegan cheese
  • Diced avocado
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add in the vegan butter and allow it to melt. Once melted, add in the achiote powder and cook for about a minute.
  2. Next add in the onions, cumin, optional oregano and black pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the onions begin to soften, then add the garlic and cook for a minute more. 
  3. Add in the potatoes and mix until everything is uniform, then cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in water along with the salt and bring everything to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
  5. Remove the lid. Using a potato masher, mash only about half of the potatoes as you want to keep some texture in the soup!
  6. Add in the almond milk and allow the mixture to come to a low boil and simmer for about 10 more minutes or until the soup  thickens.
  7. Once it has thickened, Remove the pot from heat and stir in the vegan cheese and cilantro. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  8. Transfer into serving bowls and garnish of additional vegan cheese and cilantro, as well as diced avocado and black pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Red onions will work for this recipe too.
  • Achiote is also known as annatto or achuete. Achiote oils are also available and can be used instead the oil + powder in this recipe, too, we were just unable to purchase it locally. Achiote can usually be found at hispanic markets. You can skip it if needed! It can also be substituted with a pinch of paprika and turmeric for the sake of color. A blend of the two would be ideal as it will prevent them from interfering the flavors in the dish.
  • We peel our potatoes but you can keep the peels on if you don’t mind them.
  • Any unsweetened plan based milk of your choice can be used.
  • I know some people do not like the flavor of cilantro so you can skip this as needed.
  • Category: Soup, Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Ecuadorian

Keywords: Soup, Stew, Potato, Cheese, One Pot, Lunch, Dinner, Meal Prep

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Delia says:

    Jasmine, this recipe is so good! My husband is Ecuadorian and is picky especially when it comes to vegan food and especially even more when it comes to ecuadorian recipes lol, but he loved the final product. I made it last weekend and he asked me to make it again today, but a lot this time so that there’s leftovers haha! Thanks for the recipe <3

  2. Emily French says:

    Going to make this tonight! Is cheddar a no-go for the flavor profile here? I had trouble finding mozzarella.

  3. Mafer says:

    So happy to see an Ecuadorian recipe in a vegan page🥰♥️

  4. Roy Bame says:

    A basic potato soup which is very tasty and just perfect on a cold, rainy day.
    If you decide to make this soup, you will not be disappointed.

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