Every New Year's Day, at my mother-in-law's, they make chupe. It's the perfect comfort/hangover/post-late night food on the planet, but it was only when we moved from Venezuela to Spain when I truly understood the reason this soup was meant to be eaten in January, and why it's a dish originally created in the mountains of Peru, it's the perfect hearty and filling soup for those winter blues or for whenever there's a little chill in the air.
Although this is a Peruvian specialty, many families across Latin America prepare this dish, with multiple variations, meaning they make chupe in a completely different way at my grandfather´s house than they do at Carlos's grandfather's house. I love it when dishes start changing in small ways to create even more delicious creations.
Although traditional chupe can be made with chicken, hen (yikes!) or seafood, there's no reason why you can't eat this delicious dish and make it completely vegan! It's basically a chowder. A rich, filling, yummy, dreamy, savory chowder that is really fun to eat. This is usually served as a one pot meal, meaning a pot, a bowl and a spoon is all you need! I love that about this dish.
Ok, on with the show... let's make some chupe!
Enjoy the video, recipe and printable below!
"CHUPE": CORN AND POTATO CHOWDER
Yield: 4 servings ⎮ Prep time: 10 minutes ⎮ Cook time: 35 minutes
- 2 ears of corn, silk and husk removed and cut into 4 pieces each
- 1/4 of an onion, very finely chopped
- 1/4 of a red bell pepper, very finely chopped
- A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (plus a bit extra for decoration)
- 5-7 cups of vegetable broth
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 package extra firm tofu (9-10 ounces / 275 gr), cut into cubes
- 1 & 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels (you may also use fresh or canned)
- 1/4 cup heavy non-dairy cream
- Salt to taste
Add the pieces of corn, onion, bell pepper, cilantro (reserving some for decoration) and 5 cups of the broth to a large pot.
Bring to a boil and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the corn is tender.
Uncover the pot and add the potatoes. Cook for about 8 minutes or until you can easily pierce them with a knife or fork, but make sure they aren’t mushy. They should hold their shape.
Add the tofu cubes and corn kernels, and if you see too much of the broth has evaporated, add the extra 1 to 2 cups.
Bring this up to a simmer again.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt to your liking and turn off the heat.
With the heat off, add the heavy cream and stir (never bring it back up to a boil after the cream has been added or it might separate).
Serve the chowder with two of the corn pieces in each plate, top with the remaining fresh cilantro and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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