Chupe de Camarones (Peruvian Shrimp Chowder)

Chupe de Camarones, Peruvian Shrimp Chowder

Chupe de Camarones, Peruvian Shrimp Chowder

Chupe de Camarones is the Queen of Soups, a spicy shrimp chowder from Arequipa in la Sierra of Peru. This soup is so popular there, that you can tell the day of the week by the variety of Chupe that is being served at local restaurants. But Chupe de Camarones also has erotic origins dating back to the Incas, and here is what you need to make this Inca aphrodisiac at home.

The key to a good Chupe is making a spicy aji amarillo sofrito, using a flavorful seafood stock, and being careful not to overcook the shrimp. First, cook the onion, tomato, and aji amarillo sofrito. Next, cook the shrimp in the sofrito, and set aside. Then, simmer the vegetables in the seafood stock. Finally, return the shrimp to finish the soup. Serve it, and wait for this ancient Inca aphrodisiac to kick in.

  • 12 shrimp, shell on, deveined
  • 2-4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon aji amarillo paste
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 5 cups seafood stock
  • 1 sprig mint
  • 1 yellow potato, peeled and cubed, about 1 cup
  • butternut squash, peeled and cubed, 1 cup frozen cubes
  • yellow corn, 1 cup frozen kernels
  • lima beans, 1 cup frozen beans, cooked separately
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • shredded queso fresco, optional
  • chopped cabbage
  • cilantro sprig
  • mint sprig
  • slice of country bread
  1. Heat cooking oil in a large pot over medium to low heat, add the garlic, aji amarillo, red onions, and sauté until onions are translucent
  2. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and continue to sauté for a few more minutes
  3. Add the shrimp to the sofrito, and cook covered until done, about 2 minutes each side
  4. Remove shrimp and set aside
  5. Add seafood stock and 1 large sprig of mint
  6. Add potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes
  7. Add butternut squash and simmer for 5 more minutes, until squash and potatoes are done
  8. Return the shrimp to the pot, add the corn and cooked lima beans, and simmer for 5 more minutes
  9. Turn off heat, add milk, and serve
  10. Garnish each bowl with chopped cabbage, mint sprig, and cilantro spring
  11. Optionally, grate queso fresco over the shrimp
  12. Serve with a slice of country bread

4 servings.


Traditionally, this soup is made with fava beans but here I used Lima beans. Because some Lima beans have a small amount of cyanide, it’s important to follow the cooking directions in the package. Here, I cooked the frozen lima beans separately in a pot with 2 cups boiling water, uncovered, for 10 minutes until tender, discarded the water and set the lima beans aside. For the seafood stock, I used 5 cups of water and 4 teaspoons Better than Bouillon Lobster Base paste. In Peru, Chupe is made with large river shrimp, but ocean shrimp will work. Shell on shrimp adds color to the presentation, but you can use peeled and deveined shrimp as well. Mint is used instead of huacatay, the intense black mint of Peru, and frozen corn will do if corn on the cob is not in season.