David Loftus

Beef & Corn Soup. Picanterías serve a particular soup on each day of the week. In Arequipa, chochoca is the soup served on Wednesday. I’ve never been able to find out why, but the tradition amuses me, as I used to have this soup any day of the week when I lived in Peru. Chochoca is a great starter: its flavour is simple yet powerful. You can make it with a mixture of vegetables and veggie stock instead of meat, if you prefer.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg beef short ribs
1 large onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Picante de Huevos, panca chilli paste
2 large floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 4cm cubes
1 choclo corn or corn-on-the-cob, cut into 4 pieces
1 leek, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
100g semolina
a small bunch mint, leaves picked, to serve


  1. Put the beef ribs in a large saucepan or casserole and cover with water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and skim off any mushroom-coloured foam that collects on the surface. When the foam has subsided (about 4–5 minutes), add the onion and garlic, along with plenty of salt. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently for 3–4 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.
  2. Remove the ribs from the broth, then pull the meat off the bones and add it back to the broth. Stir in the chilli paste, then add the potatoes, choclo or corn cob pieces, leek and celery. Increase the heat to return to the boil, then lower it again and simmer for a further 25 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. Add the semolina and stir until the soup has thickened.
  3. Serve the soup piping hot in bowls, sprinkled with the mint leaves.
Martin Morales
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