Peruvian Shrimp Soup - Chupe de Camarones is a delicious, hearty, creamy soup loaded with shrimp, feta, and noodles. Quick and simple to make and oh so good!
Peruvian shrimp soup - chupe de camarones is one of my absolute favorite soups and once you try it, it will be one of yours too. This soup is similar to a chowder and has many different versions which include peas, potatoes, rice, and corn. My version is very simple and has none of those ingredients, but don’t let that mislead you. The flavor of this soup is amazing. This is the way my Mom makes it and she's 100% Peruvian. Just like every Italian has their version of tomato sauce, this is my version of Peruvian shrimp soup. Variety is the spice of life, right?
If you do a search for Chupe de Camarones, you'll notice that it will read Peruvian shrimp chowder when translated. Chupe does translate to chowder, but when my Mom came to the United States from Peru, she called it soup so that's what I grew up calling it. In fact, when I do call it soup, I get a lot of flak from my Peruvian cousins for not referring it to chupe or chowder. Notice how I left the title as soup? Ya, we Peruvians will cut off our nose just to spite our face and I absolutely love that about us! We get a kick out of it.
My uncle Joe taught me the very important step of saving the shells of the shrimp to create the shrimp stock. Buy shrimp that are raw, deveined, and have the shells on. Simply peel the shells off the shrimp and wrap them in a cheesecloth. When water is added to the pot, dip the shells wrapped in cheesecloth into the stock and let it simmer for about a half an hour. You’ll be amazed at how much flavor you get from them. The cheesecloth makes for easy removal of the shells. Just squeeze it against the side of the pot using the back of a spoon to get every bit of liquid out, then discard. Brilliant, right?
A pound of shrimp goes a long way. I like to use large shrimp which is about 31 - 35 per pound. After removing the shells, I cut the shrimp into 3 or 4 chunks to make them bite-sized. I keep a few intact for presentation. Why do I cut the shrimp? Well, after years of having it served whole, I got tired of seeing people trying to put a whole large shrimp in their mouth without getting soup all over them. I mean, I’m being considerate in making the soup user friendly. Serving one or two whole shrimp for presentation is one thing, but it was like a bad accident - you didn’t want to look but you did.
Cutting the shrimp also ensures everyone gets some. You don’t have someone scooping them up all for themselves. Maybe it’s just because that’s what I used to do. Whole shrimp made it easier to scoop up those suckers and hoard them all for myself. I’m being honest here.
Before you add the angel hair pasta, you need to crush them into pieces. I purchase rounds of pasta that are approximately one ounce each. I cup it in my hand and crush it over the stock pot. It’s somewhat therapeutic crushing those rounds, you know what I mean? If you can't find angel hair rounds, just break angel hair pasta into pieces.
My favorite part of this soup isn’t the shrimp, it’s the feta cheese and I add a lot of it. It gives it such a great flavor. I crumble half of it and cut the other half into chunks. When you scoop up a chunk of feta with your spoon and take a bite your eyes may roll back. It’s my favorite part.
Give my Peruvian shrimp soup a try. If you want to make it gluten-free, substitute a few chopped up russet potatoes and leave the pasta out. Whichever way you choose…
Love soups? You’ll Love Love Love these:
- French lentil soup with bacon
- Sweet potato vegetable soup
- Silky smooth cauliflower soup
- Simple silky smooth gazpacho
- Chicken and rice soup
- Potato leek soup
- Homemade chicken soup
- Beef barley soup
- Butternut squash soup
Life is too short for mediocre food.
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Peruvian Shrimp Soup - Chupe de CamaronesPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 pound large size shrimp - about 31 -35 per pound deveined, shells on
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 large sweet onion finely diced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 8 cups water
- 6 ounces angel hair pasta
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- ¾ - 1 pound feta cheese
- square piece of cheesecloth for shells
- Peel the shells off the shrimp and place shells in the middle of the cheesecloth. Gather ends and tie with twine to form a pouch.
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat and add the onions. Sauté for about 10 minutes until the onions soften and just start to turn color.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook just until the paste starts to lose its bright color.
- Add in the oregano, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Continue to cook until it starts to develop a fond - when bits of the tomato paste start to stick to bottom of pan and everything becomes fragrant. Don't burn it. Just cook enough to cook the paste.
- Slowly pour in the water and stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom.
- Add the pouch of shrimp shells into stock and push it down to fully cover. The water should cover the pouch. As long as the shells are in the water, you'll get that flavorful stock.
- Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove pouch and carefully squeeze out any juices by pressing against side of pan using back of spoon. Discard pouch.
- Crush the angel hair pasta and add to stock. Cook for 3 minutes until al dente.
- Stir in evaporated milk. I add a little water into the empty can to make sure I get every bit out. Add in the shrimp and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until the shrimp turn pink.
- Turn off heat. Crumble in the feta leaving some in chunks. Stir and serve.
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