In Peru, this elegant soup is made with camarones, freshwater crayfish found in small rivers and irrigation ditches. American freshwater crayfish or fresh shrimp may be substituted.
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1-2 fresh mirasol or other hot chiles, seeded and minced
- 2 tbsp. panca paste (sweet red chile paste)
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 lb. freshwater crayfish or large unpeeled shrimp
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 lb. Idaho potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 ear corn, husk removed, cut into 4 rounds
- 1 small carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 lb. acorn squash, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 small head green cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
- 1⁄4 cup long-grain rice
- 1⁄2 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream (optional)
- 1⁄2 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
- 2 oz. queso blanco or farmer’s cheese, diced
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, chiles, and panca paste and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cumin and shrimp or crayfish, season with salt and pepper, and cook, turning, until shrimp are pink and firm, about 1 minute more.
- Stir in 7 cups water, then add potatoes, corn, carrots, squash, cabbage, and rice. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove cover, stir in peas, milk, and cream (if using), and simmer until milk and cream are heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in oregano and cheese and serve.