Beyond Clam Chowder: Exploring South American Soups

BY: 
Nuestro Stories Staff
 | February 28, 2024

Sunday, February 25, was National Clam Chowder Day, a day set aside to celebrate the creamy goodness of the North American comfort soup. As we enjoyed the beloved dish, the editorial team had an idea: let’s travel beyond borders to explore some South American comfort soups. Turns out, to our delight, there are many lesser known stews that rival the famous clam chowder.


Exploring 4 South American Comfort Soups


Yes, it’s true. The classic clam chowder has many formidable counterparts in South America.

Abuelas in Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay have been serving up hearty and flavorful soups for decades … even centuries.

From the coastal shores of Peru to the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, we celebrate our top four favorite “chowders” from South America:

1) Peruvian Chupe: A Tapestry of Flavors

Peruvian chupe is a winter soup that has stood the test of time. It originates from the indigenous population of Peru, the Inca.

As EatPeru explains, “Every Peruvian has their own version of the recipe. Every region in Peru can count on a different recipe.” 

This shrimp chowder is versatile enough to serve as both a starter and a main course. And it boasts a unique blend of indigenous ingredients and regional variations.

2) Brazilian Moqueca: A Symphony of Simplicity

The origins of moqueca can be traced back to the indigenous Tupinambá people who inhabited Brazil’s coastal regions before colonization.

Food & Wine magazine writes, “Traditionally slow-simmered in clay pots, the stew comes together in a Dutch oven and packs maximum flavor with minimal effort.” 

Moqueca is enriched with coconut milk, tomatoes, and peppers.

3 Argentinian Locro: A Heritage of History

Argentinian locro stands as one of the most traditional dishes in Argentina. 

According to 196Flavors, “It is a kind of stew with pre-Hispanic and pre-Inca origins, so it is easy to assume that it has been present in the continent for many years.” 

This hearty stew features a medley of ingredients including meat, beans, and corn. And it pays homage to Argentina’s rich culinary heritage.

4 Paraguayan Pira Caldo: A Fusion of Flavors

Pira caldo is a flavorful fish soup traced back to the Paraguayan War (1864 to 1870).

“Pira Caldo is a traditional Paraguayan soup with surubí (catfish), fresh vegetables, herbs, and creamy cheese,” the food website CamilaMade.com explains. “It is a hearty and highly nutritious soup often served during the Lent period, as it is a great way to break from a meat-laden meal.”

As described by Comidasparaguayas.com), “It is characterized by having a high caloric and protein content; In addition, its flavor is something incomparable and extremely exquisite.”

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