Monday, August 15, 2011

Can someone identify this Cuenca vegetable?

I never tire of the views around this gorgeous city!

Lenny does nearly all of the produce shopping in our family.  He loves finding good bargains and takes joy in bringing home new things we have not had before moving to Cuenca.  He makes a delicious smoothie every morning with a variety of fresh tropical fruits and yogurt.

A terrific selection of lovely tropical fruits and veggies.

So the other day, he brought home what he thought were some dark skinned yams. Len bought them at the Coopera where there are often no signs identifying produce. I was making soup today so I got the purple things out of the fridge and peeled them.  The outside skin was almost black.  Just under the outer skin is a gorgeous deep purple color but it is a thin layer.  Then, as you can see in the photo, the inside is kind of white with purple veins or dots.  I shredded it and put it in the soup.  It had a wonderful texture, between a potato and a carrot.  The shape before i peeled it (oops, I did not think to take a picture BEFORE I peeled it) was like yams or sweet potatoes in the US.  However, the flavor was not like yams and the cooked texture was more like a carrot.

Can someone please tell me what this interesting vegetable is?  I liked it and will use it in soup again.

The soup was a tomato base.  Len found a dozen tomatoes for $1, on special because they needed to be used right away. For about two hours, I cooked the tomato with some onion, garlic, a little hot sauce, the mystery vegetable, fresh pepper, dried oregano and salt with some chicken broth.  At the last minute before serving, I added some cream and heated through.  Then I topped it with a slice of avocado.

Hey, this was out of this world!  It made enough for 2 or 3 more meals for both of us if I make a salad or side dishes to go with. I'll freeze one meal. I'm really enjoying cooking in SA as a jubilada (retired woman) with time to experiment!

Looking at Cuenca. That is Solano Ave going up the center of the photo.  The view is from Turi. The old part of the city would be toward the top of the photo, beyond this view.

Have a terrific Tuesday in your corner of the world!


  1. I have seen those made into potato chips and they are delicious. I googled them now and can only find 'purple potatoes' - they are so good!

  2. I wonder if it is a peruvian potato?

  3. Yes, that is probably what it is. I hope we can find them again - delicious and held up well in soup, did not get mushy. Thanks for reading my blog!

  4. It made me think if taro root, but I'm not sure that's right though. The soup sounded delish!!!