Peruvian Cilantro Chicken Soup
What’s better than chicken soup? Not a dang thing. Expand your chicken soupness with some Peruvian cilantro chicken soup. You can thank me later. Or now. I’m always looking for praise. Why do you think I have a blog? Praise me, people.
So I’m kinda obsessed with Peruvian food. It’s kinda perfect. Peruvian food probably thinks I’m stalking it and it would be right. I got my first taste the way I think many people are introduced to Peruvian food — via charcoal chicken (el pollo a la brasa). Oh the sauces! Oh the chiles! Oh the fresh herbs and spices! Since that moment, I have made it my life’s mission to find out as much as possible about the cuisine. I dug into any cookbook I could find, tried many restaurants, and once I hit the soups, it was done. True love.
I’ve been playing with my version of this soup for 3 years now. I think it’s finally done.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small chopped onion - 1/2 cup
- 1 small sliced leek - 1/2 cup
- 1/2 chopped green bell pepper - 1/4 cup
- 1 small chopped carrot - 1/2 cup
- 1 medium heat chile pepper* (Anaheim or Poblano) - 1/4 cup
- 1 tablespoon of grated garlic - about 2 large cloves
- 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 4 cups warmed chicken broth
- 4 small peeled potatoes, left whole or cut into large chunks
- 2 ears of corn chopped into chunks
- Chicken reserved from broth making** or 1 lb chicken thighs cut into chunks
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
- 1 hot chile pepper* (Jalapeño or Serrano)
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 2 cups warmed broth
- Scallions and limes for garnish
- In heavy bottomed pot, heat fat over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, leek, bell pepper, carrot, and medium-heat chile pepper. Sprinkle with a little salt, sauté, and allow vegetables to become soft. About 5 minutes.
- Add grated garlic (it helps to grate with a microplane), cumin, and oregano. Sautee until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add 4 cups warmed chicken broth. Stir, then add in potatoes, corn and chicken.*
- While starches/chicken are cooking, blend the following in a blender: 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 hot chile pepper, 1 medium clove of garlic, and 2 cups warmed chicken broth. Once blended, add mixture to soup pot.
- Once everything is cooked through, taste and add salt and pepper. Taste again and adjust as needed.
- Serve with limes and garnish with chopped scallions.
- *Feel free to remove the seeds from the chile peppers if you like less heat.
- ** I typically make my chicken broth with a whole chicken, so I have meat leftover to use in soups. Please see this post for instructions on how to make chicken broth.
If you’re a fan of Peruvian food or are just discovering it and loving it as much as I do, stay tuned; there will be much, much more to come.