Peruvian Comfort Food: Sopa de Choclo

We can’t deny it, we have a major crush on Peru. We didn’t mean for it to happen, but it is getting pretty serious. She might be ‘The One’.

With shamelessly seductive landscapes and a rich cultural history, it’s no surprise that Peru is topping travel wish-lists left, right and centre.

Machu Picchu remains the poster-child for Peruvian tourism, but these days there’s a new kid on the block. Peruvian gastronomy is having a major moment, attracting hoards of hungry travellers keen for a slice of the action.Β The food scene in Peru is diverse, and sometimes controversial. Think raw fish, alpaca burgers, whole-roasted guinea pigs… I didn’t say it was all delicious!

We stayed with a native family on the outskirts of Cusco, to experience a different side of Peruvian cuisine. Our host, Kettlin, took us shopping to the local market and spent the day teaching us her family recipes; good old-fashioned Peruvian comfort food. Of all the weird and wonderful dishes we tried in Peru, the meal we shared with Kettlin and her partner Eduardo was the most memorable.

To kick things off, we made a traditional Peruvian soup known as Sara Lawa in native Quechuan language, or Sopa de Choclo. Check out this video to see how it turned out.

Sopa de Choclo is as comforting as it gets. Ideal for a cold winter’s day (or a summer one in the UK!), this soup goes perfectly with hot crusty bread and a generous sprinkling of queso. Save this recipe and try it for yourself!

Half a white onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 large potatoes
1/2 kilo of maiz blanco molido (fresh or dried cornmeal)
1 cup of broad beans
Lots of salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Lightly fry half a diced onion in oil until translucent. Add chopped garlic and stir for a few minutes.
2. Add 3-4 cups of warm water before adding all four potatoes, quartered.
3. Boil until partially soft, then add the beans. The order is very important.
4. Add liberal amounts of salt and pepper and boil for 10 minutes.
5. Add maiz blanco molido (cornmeal) and stir very slowly. You must stir the soup in the same direction, very slowly, in order to get the right consistency.
6. Keep adding water and stir slowly until the consistency resembles runny mash potato.
7. Add cubed cheese to serve.

*optional: if you are a coriander fan (we are not judging) you can blend some coriander and add it to the soup after the beans.


What is your go-to comfort food? Do you have a favourite recipe to share? Comment below or get in touch through Facebook or Instagram.

Notes: A huge thank you to Kettlin for sharing her recipes with us, and to George Sykes for braving the guinea pig when we chickened out…

13 thoughts on “Peruvian Comfort Food: Sopa de Choclo

  1. The inclusion of a recipe is a nice touch! I also like how you arranged your photos. The Peruvian restaurant near me serves saltados. Did you have one in Peru? I kinda have a crush on Peru right now too.

    1. We did have saltado – we actually learned how to cook it! Watch this space for the recipe πŸ™‚

  2. This looks like a great dish for Belgian summers πŸ˜‰ We visited the poster child of Peru too but loved the rest of Peru as well! Definitely want to go back to a lot of Peru, touristy places and off-grid gems!

  3. How did the alpaca burger taste? I’d be interested to try it! Thanks for this recipe, I have pinned it πŸ™‚

    1. It was gooooooood! Don’t forget to send us pictures of your soup when you make it πŸ€—

    1. You are in luck, there’s plenty of gluten-free choices in Peru. We did a fab cooking class in Arequipa with all gluten-free options so watch this space for our next post on that!

  4. Hmm, I always thought that alpacas were too cute to eat. But the idea of alpaca burgers is interesting. Hopefully, I’ll get to Peru and try them one day. The soup looks great! So does the one that got away!

    1. There’s a whole load of exciting food to eat, so you can avoid alpaca altogether if you want! I guess Guinea Pig won’t tickle your fancy either…

  5. I actually recently had Sopa de Choclo at a Peruvian restaurant here in Munich. It was absolutely delicious – and plus, I got to try many other Peruvian classics there as well. As for Peru, go for the ceviche, stay for everything else πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the recipe guys! I’ll pin it and remember to make it this fall πŸ™‚

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