Stop everything you’re doing because this recipe is here to rock your world. The Peruvian chupe (pronounced “choo-peh”) is an incredibly delicious and tasty soup. My favourite is the shrimp or langoustine chupe, and I want to show you how it’s made at my home in Perú. It’s intense, really flavoursome, creamy and perfect with fried eggs and a toast with queso fresco.
The classic chupe from Arequipa, Perú is made with river shrimp from that area. The nice thing about them is that they have a bag in their head with a liquid we call “coral” that pack a whole lot of flavour. When you clean the heat you’ll gather that liquid so that we can use it for the chupe. You can even freeze it for up to 5 months so if they’re in a fishing ban period (which we always should respect) you can still use the coral for your langoustine chupe. Now, if you don’t have coral, does it mean that you can’t make Peruvian chupe? Nope. Many of us live outside of Peru and are dying to make this recipe. I have done it without coral before and I will tell you how to make it without that ingredient.
As a matter of fact, my mom’s family is originally from Arequipa, from where this shrimp chupe is from. I have to say I’ve only been to Arequipa once (and it was only for a couple of days). However, Arequipa lives in people’s heart and I’m fond of it because of what my family has told me they experienced there as well as the food they fed me through the years. This is the recipe that I’m teaching here is the one that’s used at my house, famous for its spectacularity.
The flavour in the chupe comes from the stock. Homemade stock will make the chupe be intense, tasty and just mind-blowing. Many people even say that chupe is an aphrodisiac. However, after a generous dish of chupe all I want to do is sleep for two days, lol. If you’re in a country where you cannot find this type of river shrimp or it’s in a fishing ban period, what I recommend is that you make a more concentrated stock to replace the coral. It can be done with shrimp or langoustines. For this you need to weight out double the langoustines in the recipe, peel them and reserve half the tails for another recipe but use the shells for the stock. This way you will get a double-concentrated stock to replace the coral. I swear the resulting flavour is as amazing.
For the vegetable stock
- 150 g carrots chopped in medium sized pieces
- 150 g brown onion chopped in medium sized pieces
- 150 g celery chopped in medium sized pieces
- 1 bayleaf
- 4 litres water
For the shrimp or langoustine
- 500 g shrimps or langoustines
For the chupe
- 400 g potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil it could also be vegetable or canola
- 150 g red onion in small cubes
- 2 garlic cloves puréed, minced or finely grated
- 1 1/2 tbsp Peruvian panca chili in a paste or 3/4 tbsp dried
- 1 tbsp shrimp coral* to replace watch the note on this recipe
- 1 sprig of oregano leaves only. You can replace it with 1/4 tsp dried oregano.
- 4 whole shrimp or langoustines, extra to the 500g from above (optional)
- 100 g long grain rice
- 50 g peas fresh or frozen
- 50 ml evaporated milk
- Salt and pepper
- queso fresco
- Peruvian yellow chili slices (optional)
- fried egg
For the vegetable stock
- Place all the ingredients in a large pot and heat over medium heat. When it comes to a boil reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on.
- Pass the stock through a colander and keep the stock. You can make soup out of the stock's veggies. This stock will now be the liquid for our shimp or langoustine stock.
For the shrimp or langoustine stock
- Separate the head from the tails and peel the tails. Make a shallow cut along the back of the tail and remove the vein. Reserve the tails to one side and the shells on the other side.
- In the shrimp's or langoustine's head there's a black bag with sand in it that you need to discard. If you're using Peruvian shrimp there's also a bag in the head that has the coral in it and it will tint your hands red. You need to collect that for the recipe.
- Rinse the heads before starting to make the stock.
- Place the pot on high heat and let it heat up. Add the heads and shells to the pot and toast them for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the vegetable stock, put a lid on it and decrease the heat to low. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- Place the stock along with the heads and shells in a blender and pulse it 3-4 times to make them release more flavour. Pass it through a fine colander and discard the shells and heads
For the chupe
- Peel the potatoes and cut them in 2cm / 0.7in thick slices. Cook the potatoes in cold water, plenty sal over medium heat. When it starts to boil reduce the heat to a slight simmer. Cook them until tender.
- Cook the onion over medium heat in olive oil until it becomes translucent and smells sweet.
- Add the oregano leaves but first rube them between your hands to help them release the flavour. If you're using dried oregano also do this. Sautée for a few seconds and then add the garlic. Cook it for a minute.
- Add the coral and panca chilli and mix for a minute, let it thicken.
- Add the stock and let it simmer until you have 2/3 of the original volume. When you try it, it should be intense and ready to eat if you wanted to.
- Add the rice (need 20 minutes to cook) and stir every once in a while so it doesn't stick to the bottom.
- After 15 minutes of adding the rice, go in with the tails and whole shrimps or langoustines (they only need 5 minutes to cook). After 4 minutes add the peas and the potatoes that only need one minute in the stock.
- Finish with the evaporated milk and correct the level of salt and pepper.
- Serve with a fried egg, toasts with queso fresco and a slice of Peruvian yellow chilli.