Fanesca is a soup traditional to Ecuador. Its components and preparation vary from one region to other of the country, if not from one family to another. It is typically prepared and served only in the week before Easter. It is a rich soup, with the primary ingredients being figleaf gourd (sambo), pumpkin (zapallo), and twelve different kinds of grains, representing the disciples of Jesus, and salt cod, due to the belief that you must not eat red meat during these days. It also generally contains hard boiled eggs, fried plantains, and sometimes empanadas. It is usually garnished with parsely and other native vegetables.
Calvin Trillin discourses on Fanesca at some great length
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