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Feb 20, 2021

Peruvian Potato Soup (Locro de Papas)

This Peruvian potato soup, or "locro de papas," is a delicious hearty soup made with potatoes, cream cheese, and flavorful spices and peppers. 

Locro de papas in bowls

Traditional Peruvian potato soup is spiced with ground annatto seeds. Annatto seeds are from the achiote tree.

It is often used as a natural coloring to give a yellow or orange color to foods, and also for its slightly nutty flavor and mild aroma. If you don't have annatto seeds, you can easily substitute a combination of turmeric and sweet paprika. 

This soup completely celebrates the potato, which is native to the Americas. 

Peruvian potato soup ingredients

Tops this soup with some crumbled cotija cheese, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and avocado for a delicious bowl of hearty deliciousness. 

I made this soup with fingerling potatoes of various colors. You can usually buy a 24 ounce bag of assorted fingerlings in the grocery store, which is the perfect size for this recipe. My bag included red, yellow, and purple fingerling potatoes. 

How to make this potato soup:

First, cut the potatoes in half and set them aside in a bowl of water. 

Next, cook diced onions, chopped garlic, and a diced red pepper in hot oil in a Dutch oven to soften them. 

After that, add the spices, the potatoes, some cream cheese, and milk and bring the mixture to a boil and then cook over low heat, covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Peruvian potato soup with toppings

Once the potatoes are tender, blend the soup in batches with a blender, or use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the Dutch oven, which is the method that I used. 

This soup is gorgeous and flavorful, with its yellow color and deep flavorful mixture of spices. 

You can serve this soup immediately. It also makes great leftovers. If you need to, you can thin it with more milk as necessary. 

Don't forget the toppings! 

For another South American soup featuring potatoes, you might want to try Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup as well. 

Spicy Peruvian potato soup

Welcome to another month of Soup Saturday Swappers. This month we are celebrating National Potato Month. Our host is my friend Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm

Be sure to check out everyone's potato soup recipes! 

Peruvian potato soup with cream cheese

Peruvian Potato Soup (Locro de Papas) Recipe

Peruvian Potato Soup (Locro de Papas) Recipe
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
This Peruvian potato soup, or "locro de papas," is a delicious hearty soup made with potatoes, cream cheese, and flavorful spices and peppers.


For the Soup
  • 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes of various colors
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground annatto seeds OR 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric plus 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teapoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, diced
  • 3 cups whole milk
For Topping
  • 2 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 large ripe avocado, diced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly, cut them in half, and submerge them in a bowl of water. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 6 to 8 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Stir the mixture in the pan for about 5 minutes, until the onions and bell peppers have softened. Remove the pan from the heat. 
  3. Add the cumin, annatto or paprika/turmeric mixture, salt, pepper, and cayenne and stir. Let sit for 30 seconds for the spices to bloom.  
  4. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pot. Add the cream cheese and milk. Return the burner to medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are folk tender. 
  5. Either blend the soup in batches in a blender, or blend the soup in the pot with an immersion blender. 
  6. Serve warm topped with the cheese, avocado, scallions, and cilantro



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soup, potatoes,
Peruvian, Andean
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This recipe was adapted from the fabulous book Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked, and Fried Too!  by Raghavian Iyer. He learned about this soup from a friend of Peruvian heritage who cooks in Key Largo, Florida.  

Would you like to comment?

  1. This looks fantastic, Karen, and would be especially delicious as we have a cold snap this weekend. I have to admit that I first read your title as 'loroco', the flower, and couldn't figure out the connection to Peru. Ha. Now I get it.

  2. What a pretty soup and it looks so creamy too!

  3. Thank you for giving me yet another excuse to buy some of my faves! This soup looks gorgeous and absolutely delicious!

    1. Thanks Colleen. It crumbles so beautifully!

  4. This is one of favorite soup. Love the color and texture of the soup.

  5. This soup sounds amazing and it is so lovely. I would be proud to serve this to family and friends.

  6. I love cotija cheese and think it is perfect on top of this soup! Yum.

  7. Just so beautiful! That color and creamy texture. Yumm!

    1. Thank you! I'm kind of partial to the color too.

  8. Pure comfort food, looks amazingly delicious

  9. You had me at using an immersion blender. Just kidding it was the fingerling potatoes that caught my eye. I love a good sipping soup, and this one sounds amazing. Even if I'll have to use a spoon to gobble up the toppings.


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