Peruvian Shrimp Soup – Chupe de Camarones is a deliciously, hearty, creamy soup loaded with shrimp, feta, and noodles. Quick and simple to make. ¡Al Ataque!
Last night I made Peruvian Shrimp Soup – Chupe de Camarones – which is one of my absolute favorite soups. This soup has many different versions. Some include peas, potatoes, rice, and corn. It is similar to a chowder. My version is simple and it’s how my Mom has always made it. Ingredients are onions, spices, tomato paste, pasta, evaporated milk, shrimp, and feta cheese. Easy. Simple.
I have to give my Tío Joe credit for showing me the very important step of saving the shells of the shrimp to create the shrimp stock. I was over his house for dinner one night and this soup was one of the courses he was making for me. I watched him prepare and noted the differences between his version and my Mom’s. After making the stock, he would scoop everything out – the onions, specks of oregano, and of course the shrimp shells leaving just the stock. His version included potatoes and he would purchase the jumbo shrimp which made a great presentation.
My Mom makes it without potatoes and that is how I grew up having it. She would only remove the shells leaving all the sautéed bits of onions and specks of oregano behind. And that is how I make it. Smaller shrimp was added to ease in the consumption of the soup eliminating the need for a fork and knife.
I found an easier way to remove the shrimp shells. I would place all the shells on a cheesecloth then gather the ends of the cloth and tie them up with twine creating a small pouch.
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Then I add it to the stock and after 30 minutes I remove the pouch but not before squeezing all the juices out. Never waste.
Before you add the angel hair pasta, you need to crush them into pieces. I purchase rounds of pasta that are one ounce each. I cup it in my hand and crush it over the stock pot giving the bits that escape from the crushing a place to land. If you can’t find rounds, just break the angel hair strands into pieces.
My favorite part of this soup isn’t the shrimp, it’s the addition of feta cheese. It gives it such a great flavor. I probably add double the amount than what anyone in my family adds. 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 you get a burst of flavor. It’s my favorite part.
Give this soup a try. You can add the potatoes in or leave them out. Or, if you want to make it gluten-free, add the potatoes and leave the pasta out. Whichever way you choose…
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- 1 pound medium size shrimp - 41 - 50 per pound, deveined, shells on
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1½ cups onion, finely chopped
- 2 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 of 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.
- 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.
- 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 then add in shrimp. Let cook 2 - 3 minutes until shrimp turn pink.
- Turn off heat. Crumble in the feta leaving some in chunks. Stir and serve.