Typical Peruvian Soups
Around the world soup is the ultimate comfort food. It makes us feel home, nourishes, revitalizes, strengthens, warms and just makes us better. In Peru it is even more than this; it's part of the Peruvian culinary history and tradition. Soup is eaten at home as main dish, in some areas as breakfast or as delicious starter.
It is assumed that there are around 2000 different soups in Peru. This variety reflects the rich biodiversity of Peru with its three main geographical zones (the coast, the Andean highland and the jungle) and the fusion of influences from different times and immigrant cultures. As in the whole Peruvian cuisine each region has its own native or adapted ingredients using it for distinct soups.
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Aguadito de Pollo, a delicious, hearty and spicy chicken soup, can probably be named Peru's national soup. Served around the country, this traditional soup contains large pieces of chicken, yellow potatoes (papas amarillas), aji amarillo (yellow pepper), onions, peas, corn and rice. The main ingredient surely is cilantro giving the soup its distinctive green color and taste.
Is Sopa Criolla and Sopa a la Minuta the same soup? Or two different soups with the same base? As even Peruvian chefs seem unable to agree on this topic, we couldn't find out and really don't want to be caught in the middle. Fact is that this Peruvian classic was brought to Peru by Italian immigrants. While made in no time it's an absolutely delicious and ideal treat on a humid and cold Lima winter day.
Regarded as the characteristic dish from Arequipa, Chupe de Camarones is a popular soup of the Peruvian coastal region. Main ingredients of this spicy Shrimp Chowder include of course fresh shrimps, fish stock, papas amarillas (yellow potatos), aji panca, onions, garlic, egg, milk and cheese. Often choclo (Peruvian mais), rice, beans or peas and carrots are added.
Known in Lima as sancochado, in Cusco as timpu and in Arequipa as puchero, this hearty soup was already prepared in pre-Hispanic times and later influenced by the Madrilenian cuisine that came to Peru with Spanish immigrants. While in the past around 10 different meats were used to prepare the original sancochado, today normally only one or two find their way into the pot.
As the name already suggests the Peruvian Menestrón is an adaption of the Italian Minestrone which came to Peru with the first Italian immigrants. Over time the preparation and ingredients of this Italian classic were "peruvianized" and today the Peruvian Menestrón hasn't got a lot in common anymore with the Italian original.
Shambar is a traditional soup of the Trujillo region in northern Peru and the result of the fusion of Andean, Criollo and Spanish cooking techniques, ingredients and seasoning. A good shambar is made of wheat, several types of beans, peas, chickpeas, and at least three different kinds of meat like smoked pork, ham, pork skin, ears or tail and chicken.
Originating in the Peruvian Andes Quinoa Soup is full of valuable nutrients and easy to digest. It's a soothing and hearty treat reflecting the life and needs in the mountains. The ingredient list for Sopa de Quinuo is quite flexible. One main ingredient is of course quinoa, the "mother of all grains", a gluten and cholesterol free pre-Hispanic staple food containing all eight essential amino acids that nowadays becomes popular again.
Originated in the Peruvian jungle regions of Ucayali, San Martin and Loreto this traditional, creamy chowder is made with chicken, roasted peanuts, onions, garlic, cilantro and yuca (cassava).
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