Chupe is a generic term in South America which refers to a variety of stews prepared with chicken, red meat, fish or shellfish. For today’s blog post, I decided to prepare a shrimp variety of this Peruvian Style Shrimp Chowder. Even though the temperature is warmer now, I always associate any seafood soup or chowder to a delicious summer menu. The inspiration for this recipe was the small jar of aji amarillo chile paste I was lucky enough to find. I have never seen the fresh variety of aji peppers, so this was the next best thing. Some of the staples of a delicous chupe recipe are potatoes, eggs, peas and corn. I was out of corn on this day, but surprisingly had all of the other ingredients in my pantry and refrigertor. A popular way to serve up this delicious dish would be with a bright sunny side egg or poached egg on top. I ate the chowder so fast, I did not even take the time to try it with an egg on top! Lol! Next time.
Peruvian Style Shrimp Chowder
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and cleaned. Reserve shrimp shells
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons aji chile paste
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups shrimp broth from shells
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 pound small white or yellow potatoes, quartered
2 eggs, beaten and tempered
1 1/2 cups cabbage, chopped
3/4 cup peas
1 cup milk at room temperature (Some recipes call for evaporated milk)
Queso Fresco, crumbled
I was fortunate enough to find this product of Aji Amarillo at the local market which carries a large variety of ethnic foods. If you cannot find this, For a medium heat paste, you could roast some sweet yellow peppers with habanero peppers. Seed them and puree with just a little water and salt.
1. After you peel and clean the shrimp, transfer the shells to a sauce pan and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large dutch oven pot, add the butter and olive oil. Heat to medium, add the onion, garlic and carrots. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the aji paste and cook for 2 more minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, oregano, cumin and bay leaves. Add another pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, vinegar and strain shrimp stock directly into soup. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and taste for salt.
4. Add the potatoes and bring back up to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. To the beaten eggs,slowly stream in about 1/3 cup of hot broth from soup, whisking the whole time. Add egg mixture to the soup and stir to combine. Add in the cabbage, peas and room temperature milk. When soup comes back up to a simmer, add in the shrimp and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 more minutes. Garnish with queso fresco and cilantro. Yields 6-8 servings.
I strained the shrimp stock right into the chowder/soup base.