LOCRO DE PAPAS (POTATO STEW)
This traditional Andean soup, warm with potatoes, milk, cheese and Tabasco, and bright with cumin and avocado, may be the ultimate comfort food. Serves 4
1.5kg russet (baking) potatoes 1 cup chopped white onion 2T sunflower oil heaped 1/2t ground cumin 2 1/4t salt
3/4t black pepper
7 cups water
1 cup full-cream milk
155g (1 1/4 cups) queso fresco (Mexican fresh cheese) or feta, crumbled
2 (180g) firm, ripe avocados
1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 20mm pieces.
2. Sauté the onion in the oil, add half of the potatoes (reserve remaining potatoes in a bowl of cold water) and continue frying over a moderately high heat, stirring, until onion is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cumin, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
3. Add the water and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits.
4. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes, then mash into the broth.
5. Drain the remaining potatoes and add to the stew, then simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 20 minutes.
6. Stir in the milk, cheese and Tabasco and increase heat to high, then bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from heat and season.
7. Meanwhile, quarter the avocados lengthwise, then pit, peel and cut into 12mm cubes. Serve the stew in large soup bowls, topped with avocado.
A bottle of Tabasco Original Red Sauce contains 720 drops (there are 60 drops in a teaspoon).