Locro is popular throughout South America in the countries along the Andes mountains. The soup's ingredients can vary from region to region, but in Peru, it is typically a squash stew with potatoes and chiles, topped with cheese and usually served alongside rice. This version from China Chilcano—a vibrant Peruvian restaurant from chef José Andrés—uses butternut squash (though pumpkin is also common) as the main ingredient in its smooth purée. It is served with shrimp, Yukon gold potatoes and queso fresco, making it a more refined version of the traditionally rustic dish.
Related: Winter Produce Guide
Locro con CamarónsRecipe courtesy of China Chilcano
Yield: 2 to 4 servings
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
1 ounce extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups shrimp bisque, plus more for cooking the shrimp
2 cups chicken stock
2 white onions, diced
2 ounces butter
1 ounce garlic, chopped
1 ounce aji amarillo purée
8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cooked and diced
3 ounces diced queso fresco
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
2. Season the butternut squash with half of the salt and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat and place on a sheet tray. Cover with aluminum foil and roast until cooked, about 30 minutes.
3. Remove the roasted squash from the sheet tray and place it in a blender cup with the shrimp bisque and chicken stock. Blend until smooth.
4. Heat up a pot and add the onion, butter, garlic and aji purée, and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
5. Add the roasted squash purée and remaining salt. Bring up to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent from sticking. Cool down in ice bath for later use, or use hot immediately.
6. To serve, cook the shrimp in a little bit of bisque. Place some of the potato and queso fresco in the bottom of each bowl. Pour the hot locro mixture on top. Garnish with the cooked shrimp and the sauce of the bisque.
Photos by Danny Kim.