This potato soup is a traditional Ecuadorean starter.
Ready time: 1 hour
It’s a long way from Ecuador to Chile and Argentina, but let’s travel to those latter two countries for a “regional,” or at least continental, pairing for the soup. The big consideration is texture. It’s creamy, and that demands wine with substantial weight. Chilean or Argentine chardonnay fits the bill. Or you could venture to another country that speaks the same language, Spain, for a small pour of luscious amontillado sherry – perfect, assuming you like sherry.
For the cheese tart, try a late-harvest Riesling dessert wine from Canada or Germany, or a sweet Vouvray (often labelled moelleux) from France. Alternatively, try a fruit beer or, to resonate with the anisette, a Sazerac cocktail (2 ounces rye whisky, a sugar cube, splash of absinthe or Pernod and two or three dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters, served on ice). - Beppi Crosariol
1 kg (2 lbs) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1 tsp garlic, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 L (8 cups) water
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta
2 tbsp corn nuts or cracked lentil chips
Cut half the potatoes into two-inch chunks. Cut remaining potatoes into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.
Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, shallots and garlic, and cook for three minutes or until starting to soften. Add the two-inch potatoes and cook until they are coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until potatoes are very tender and beginning to break down.
Transfer soup to a blender and purée in batches until smooth. Return soup to same pot and bring back to a simmer. Add reserved diced potatoes, milk and cream, and cook for 15 minutes more or until potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with sliced avocado, feta and corn.