clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
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
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 5 Servings
  • Diet: Vegan


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. 


  • 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


  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!


  • 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.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Soup, Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Ecuadorian

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