This Shrimp and Corn Chowder is a loose variation of locro de papa, a potato-based soup that’s popular in the central and south Americas. The locro is sometimes cheesy, sometimes stewy, and every kitchen has its own style.
This soup’s base and assembly is similar to New England Clam Chowder – shrimp is used instead of clams – and along with corn, it’s the fresh accoutrements served with this soup that makes it stand out. After the soup is on the table, serve it with lime wedges, avocado chunks, chopped cilantro and cut scallions. Oh, and don’t forget the aji, a hot thin sauce made from chili peppers.
Recipe: Shrimp and Corn Chowder
Allow time for the shrimp to marinate at least 4 hours and up to overnight. After that, the soup can be on the table in less than 45 minutes. Serve with crusty bread if desired.
- 1/2 lb. small to medium size shrimp
- 1/4 lb. large shrimp
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon red paprika
- generous pinch salt
- generous pinch ground white pepper
- 2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 yellow onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 lbs firm potatoes, such a Yukon Gold
- 2 cups stock (seafood is best but can use chicken or vegetable)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 ears of fresh yellow corn or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 1/4 cup whipping or heavy cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- lime wedges
- avocado chunks
- chopped cilantro
- chopped scallions
- aji (hot sauce) or other thin chili pepper sauce
- Prepare shrimp: peel and devein small-medium shrimp and cut into 1/2″ pieces. Peel and devein large shrimp (tails can be left on). Put both size shrimps into a small bowl. Peel and mince garlic and add to shrimp. Season shrimp with paprika, salt and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator earlier in the day (at least 4 hours) or overnight.
- Cut vegetables: peel onion and dice onion and celery. Cut potato into 1 1/2″ chunks; no need to peel if organic. If using corn on the cob, scrape the corn off the cob, saving the corn’s “milk” to also add to the soup. Set aside vegetables.
- Make soup: heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil, heat oil, and add shrimp, sautéing until shrimp is barely cooked. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same saucepan and add diced onion and celery and sauté on medium high heat until onion is translucent. Deglaze with white wine. Add cut potatoes and cover with enough stock to barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, cover and cook until potatoes are tender (a fork stuck into a potato chunk goes through), about 20 minutes.
- With a potato masher, squish the cooked potato chunks leaving at least half in large pieces. Add corn, cream and milk and cook for about 5 minutes on low. Add the cooked shrimp, stir, taste and adjust seasoning. Cook for another 5 minutes on low until soup is hot and shrimp are cooked through.
- Finish and serve: ladle soup into soup bowls, ensuring at least a couple of large shrimp are in each bowl. Accompany the soup with lime wedges, avocado chunks, and chopped cilantro and scallions. Add aji to the table.