Chupe de Camarones is a Peruvian chowder, thick and creamy with potatoes, prawns and corn. A hearty soup perfect for cold weather. A few simple shortcuts so that even new cooks can master this one.
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It seems that most cultures have at least one thick and savory chowder in their culinary repertoire such as potato soup or corn chowder.
Peru has several chowders. Seafood, meat and vegetables show up in their favorite soups. Today we are diving in to Chupe de Camarones, with is crayfish or shrimp soup.
It looks like a lot of ingredients but several are probably already in your pantry. I have chosen crawfish tails but you can simply use peeled and deveined shrimp.
It doesn’t matter what kind of broth you use, just use one you like. Instead of boiling shrimp shells, I opt to buy peeled and deveined shrimp and a bottle of clam juice. The clam juice added to a good vegetable broth makes for a delicious and easy seafood broth.
This soup is typically made with fresh potatoes. I have an abundance of dried potato slices in my pantry so I am using those instead. You can use either but fresh potatoes will add more starch to your stew making it thicker.
One special ingredient that you may not be able to find is aji amarillo chili paste. Aji chilies are common in South America and worth finding if you can. One of my local supermarkets has a robust ethnic aisle and carries it. You can find it in your local Hispanic market or order online.
If you don’t have this, simply substitute with something strong tasting with medium heat. Some choices can include Chipotle in Adobo or a mix of Anaheim and Jalapeño chilies, diced. Aji paste has a slight vinegar note to it so add a splash of vinegar at the end of cooking.
The amount of substitutions depend on how much heat you like in your chowder. This makes a lot of soup so you have some wiggle room to experiment.
Instead of cooking the corn cobs in the soup, I opted to roast it and use it as a garnish.
How to make this Chowder
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