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. 

Peruvian Cilantro Chicken Soup |
Peruvian Cilantro Chicken Soup with corn, potato, and vegetables

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. 

No special ingredients for this soup. You will be able to find everything you need at the market. Just some good broth and a blender will do.  

Peruvian Cilantro Chicken Soup |
Vegetables and fresh herbs ready to be turned into soup.


Peruvian Cilantro Chicken Soup
Serves 4
An aromatic and delicious take on chicken soup. Cilantro lovers rejoice!
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 small chopped onion - 1/2 cup
  3. 1 small sliced leek - 1/2 cup
  4. 1/2 chopped green bell pepper - 1/4 cup
  5. 1 small chopped carrot - 1/2 cup
  6. 1 medium heat chile pepper* (Anaheim or Poblano) - 1/4 cup
  7. 1 tablespoon of grated garlic - about 2 large cloves
  8. 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
  9. 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  10. 4 cups warmed chicken broth
  11. 4 small peeled potatoes, left whole or cut into large chunks
  12. 2 ears of corn chopped into chunks
  13. Chicken reserved from broth making** or 1 lb chicken thighs cut into chunks
  14. 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  15. 1 hot chile pepper* (Jalapeño or Serrano)
  16. 1 medium clove garlic
  17. 2 cups warmed broth
  18. Scallions and limes for garnish
  1. 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.
  2. Add grated garlic (it helps to grate with a microplane), cumin, and oregano. Sautee until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add 4 cups warmed chicken broth. Stir, then add in potatoes, corn and chicken.*
  4. 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.
  5. Once everything is cooked through, taste and add salt and pepper. Taste again and adjust as needed.
  6. Serve with limes and garnish with chopped scallions.
  1. *Feel free to remove the seeds from the chile peppers if you like less heat.
  2. ** 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.
nutrients, you fools!

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. 

85 comments on Peruvian Cilantro Chicken Soup

  1. Hi Sarah! I’ll gladly praise you! Your recipes look so mouthwatering and I can’t wait to try some of your recipes! I’ll be back for sure!

  2. I’ve never tried Peruvian food before but if it tastes as good as this soup looks then I’ll be on board for sure!! So far I’ve tried your Kimichi meatball soup, once a year salsa, and bone broth made with a pressure cooker that you recommended…all have been fabulous. So I’m a fan for sure!! Keep the recipes comin’!!

    1. Oh my gosh Lindsay, that is the nicest comment I have ever received! Thank you so much. And Peruvian food is insanity delicious. Hope you try it out!
      Thanks again,


    1. Hey Ale, I have a few Peruvian chile pastes. I love them! I mainly use them in my shrimp chowder and chicken noodle soup recipes. But found this recipe to work without them. Oh! And I love when I see fresh aji chiles at the farmers’ market.

      Thanks for the tip!


    1. Hey Sarah! Thank you!
      Btw, I love that you spell your name with an “h”, aka the correct way. 😛
      I would try another sweetish veg. Maybe some sweet potato, carrot, or peas.

  3. My husband and I have been traveling to Peru for the past 11 years. We spend a month there doing missionary work and have really enjoyed the food we have tasted. My daughter found your recipe for Peruvian chicken cilantro soup and sent us the link. I am looking forward to trying your recipe,

  4. Giiiirrrll! I am so glad I found you! Someone who is as enthusiastic about food (YUM) and nutrients as me! Most of the time I find recipes and have to modify them, but now I can just grab the ingredients and start cooking! And this soup looks so delish! First on my list to make! I’m usually only a social carnivore…but all these meat dishes look bomb diggity!

    I love, love, love you! ….too soon? Sorry. Let me pull myself together. I feel like Buddy the Elf right now. So much excitement!

    And I know I may seem crazy because it’s 4 am and I just followed you on every social media I have and now I’m leaving you a comment…but i promise, I’m not crazy (I have a 10 month old I’m up with) =D

    Okay, I’m done with my tangent. Carry on.

    1. Haha! Hey GIRL!
      Awwww thanks. I love you too! I appreciate all the follows. Did you find me via Nourished Kitchen?
      What sort of mods do you typically make for recipes? Just curious since I typically get PHDophiles and WAPFers.

      Also, I feel like I should get an award of some kind for turning a social carnivore. 😛

      1. Yes ma’am. I’m pretty sure they shared this recipe on Facebook and after creeping on your blog for a little I fell in love! So excited.

        The usually mods I make are usually to make it gluten free, nutrient dense, paleo friendly, vegan and fat free (bad fats, that is). This particular recipe I might remove the fat/butter (not that this recipe needs improvement!). I have a great health system (Saladmaster- heard of it?!) that allows me to sauté without actually…sautéing? Does that make sense?

        Hahaha! Seriously…good thing it’s winter and I can hide some extra meaty bulk under a cute sweater! I can send you a before and after pic of my scale as your personal award.

        In all seriousness, I appreciate your work:)

        And I just got my Pinterest notification! Hollaaaaa! I see you, boo;)

        1. Creep away girl. 😀

          And can I just confess, I haven’t really gotten into Pinterest yet. I know! Everyone loves it. I don’t. What’s wrong with me?

          Never heard of the salad master thingie. Tell me more. Link me or something. I’m too lazy to google.

          Wait. So you do vegan, gfree, and paleo-ish?!!? Dear me. I thought I was annoying with my restrictions. I KID. 😛

          THANK YOU!

          ps- are you on Instagram!? That, I can get behind.

          1. Hahaha! I thought Pinterest was lame until I actually started using it. It’s pretty ssuh-weet. I have found a lot of recipes on there that I tweak. Crafts…not that I’m much of a crafter haha. And I’m sure a few days I’ve stayed up until 2 am just laughing at all the memes posted.

            No Instagram for me! No me gusta. I can’t deal with all the selfies. Some people need a hobby haha.

            I fell in love the first time I was introduced and have been using the health system since. If you love nutrition, you’ll love how it retains the nutrition of your food. I learned a lot! Being introduced actually was a catalyst to a total diet makeover:)

        2. Yeah I should really give Pinterest a fair shot. I could always use some good memes in my life. I guess I just get stuck in a rut. I feel like you need to pick what sort of person you wanna be and then that’s it. Set in stone. No matter what. Like, I’m an Instagram person who wants to be a tumblr person but doesn’t have the time. But yeah, some people go nuts with the selfies. Most of the people I follow are food freaks.

          Oh thank you for the salad master link. I’ll have to check it out later, cause for some reason their site doesn’t load. Maybe everyone is buying stuff for Christmas. They are ruining my web browsing. Rude!

          1. Puh-raaaaaiiisse! I made this New Year’s Eve and my family loved it! My mom had 3 bowls!! It was so delish.

            I think I’m going to start a “Sarah’s soup of the week”! We only have a few weeks left of winter! Going to take advantage of it;) Next up: Kim chi meatball!

            Thank you:)

          2. omigosh Alena, So glad you and the fam liked. 😀
            The next step is to get you making soups year round…. Alena-soupformation.

  5. This looks delicious. My husband cannot have dairy (cow dairy). Any suggestions for butter substitution? Thanks so much!!

  6. The picture looks like there is an egg yolk floating in the soup, which would be an interesting addition to the hot chicken soup. Is there one in there, or is that something else?

    1. Ok…on further look maybe it’s a baby Yukon gold potato…but still, the idea of an egg yolk introduced to the piping hot soup might be interesting to try! :)

  7. Wanted to say thanks for this! Made it last night and it was A-H-Mazing! Even my five year old loved it…after some convincing to eat “green soup”. I told her it was like Green Eggs & have to try it because you may love it! Fantastic!!

  8. I made this recipe tonight (came here via nourished kitchen) and it was awesome! And I’m not the only one who liked it. The response from my husband was ‘this s*** is f****** great!’ That says something :D.
    I love how it’s a bit rustic and a bit spicey with lots of surprises in there. And it looks beautiful! I used whole chicken legs in there and cooked it all down. I cut some of kernels off but left some chunks because of the color. A feast for eyes and belly – thanks!!
    Praise to you! I’m not worthy haha!

      1. Glad to be of help :) I’ve subscribed to your blog and can’t wait so see what other fantastic stuff you got up your sleeve – or in your pot!

  9. Home run on this one!!! Excellent excellent excellent! Thank you so much for rocking my chicken soup world!!! I doubled the recipe and sooo glad I did. Made it the day of the storm in SF. Perfect!

  10. Made this tonight, it was delicious. Compared to say chicken tortilla soup, is there anything similar but still Peruvian that we could add like crispy tortilla strips, cheese, or some type of bread on the side?

    1. Hi Brian, So glad you liked the recipe. As far as cheese or bread that is still Peruvian, you could add queso fresco. I’ve not seen it be served with bread, but you could always eat it with rice or just be a rebel and add tortilla strips. :)

  11. Been to Peru 3 times. Your recipe was right on and the soup was awesome!!! I posted your link on my facebook page and many of my friends related that the photo alone makes them want to try it! After posting my review about how great it was, they all said they cannot wait to try it for themselves!! Oh, and my wife, who is from Brazil, LOVED it!! Thanks!!

  12. Hi, I just made this for my family who all have colds and everyone loved it! Extra Chile, lime juice and green onions for the grown ups, just used corn kernels because kids, served with hot cornbread and butter… This was super easy to make, no shopping for ingredients required.., just perfect for one seriously under the weather mom of 4, thank you!

  13. Well I am here to say YUUUUMMMY! I just made this soup lastnight and it was a hit!!!! My best friend even stopped by after a hard days work on Wall Street to get some for her and hubby because of my Facebook pics! My entire family loved it!!! I can’t wait to eat leftovers! I doubled the recipe and threw in the hot peppers in only the grown up servings because I have small children. Also I added some long leaf culantro but that was it. I followed the recipe exactly and it is to die for. I also added the smaller red potatoes & threw them in whole with the skins. The kids loved it. THANK YOU!!

    1. YOU ARE WELCOME! 😀 Culantro sounds like an amazing addition. I need to try that next time. Yay! Everyone liked it!

      Thanks so much Beronica!

  14. Hi Sarah!
    I rarely ever comment on anything but…
    This soup was excellent! I also rarely follow recipes to the letter, unless I’m baking. But, to be fair on how yours tasted, I did follow the recipe :) People! It needs no alterations. I will, however, purchase my chiles next time at the Asian or Latino market (the ones my husband picked up at the local big W store had no heat).
    **I even started a freezer bag of bones and one for veggie scraps. The chicken broth from my chicken thighs was amazing!! I wish I had purchased a whole chicken… next time I will!
    So looking forward to trying your other recipes :)

    1. Hey Leslie,
      First, you are awesome. And I’m not just saying that cause you liked my soup. Okay, fine, maybe I am. 😉

      Def remake with some heat, girl!

      I literally smiled when I read that you started a freezer bag system. YOU RULE. You will be killing all future broths.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! I hope you love everything else, and if you don’t let me know so I can do better.

      Take care and thanks again!


  15. I made this soup last night! I doubled the recipe for feeding two sets of people (a family I nanny for, and my own house/housmates), the only thing I changed was using good-quality store-bought broth because I was on a time crunch, and I threw in a diced roasted red pepper because I had it on hand. OH MY GAWD, everyone was blown away. From the moment they smelled it cooking, to staring down at the empty bowls after having seconds. This is such an easy, amazing take on chicken soup, i want to make it all the time! That much cilantro is a revelation of deliciousness! But the next time I do, I’m going full-bore with making the broth. I see a pressure-cooker in my future. Keep up the good work and good recipes!!

    1. Hey Brandy,
      Thank you! So sooo soooo happy you and your friends enjoyed. I love cilantro so much. I want to put it on all the things.

      I really don’t know how I made broth without a pressure cooker. SO freakin time consuming! Def my favorite kitchen tool.

    1. Hey Ben,
      So glad you liked. Hmm, did you add lime juice? I guess that would only cover the tang part, but not the savory….hmmm. A chimichurri might actually be awesome. If you try it let me know, cause I’m curious.

      Happy New Year!


  16. Sarah…..all I gotta say is that your the Bomb digitty Bomb!!! Made this today and it was a Hit!! Loved it!!!! Followed the recipe to the “T”. Omg!! Can’t say enough. I too love cilantro. I’ve been reading your blogs. And I must say I got get me a pressure cooker. Anywho…I shared it on my wall (FB). Hope my friends and family love it just as we did.


    1. Hey Zee, First, please excuse my horribly late response. Second, thank you very much, I appreciate the share and praise. And yes, you need one. Total game changer if you cook as often as I do. Let me know if you take the plunge.

      Take care,


  17. HI SARAH



  18. This is amazzing!
    My husband is Asian, so I modded this recipe – it turned out sooo well I thought I’d share. We traded Cobb corn for baby corn, added lemongrass, shiso, and yuzu. Lastly, I thickened it to a curry consistency with coconut milk & a little starch.
    Nicknamed “crazy Peruvian curry” we eat it almost once a week. (This recipe is bookmarked!) thanks for giving this awesome recipe!

    1. Hey Kell,
      Wow, it sounds like you turned it into something awesome. I need to try it this way. I would never have thought of adding yuzu and shiso. I love when people are able to customize to their preferences and use recipes as inspiration. Thanks so much for your comment, I’m glad you and the fam enjoyed. 😀

  19. I came across this recipe when I did a recipe search for a hodgepodge of ingredients I had to use up. When I saw the recipe, I was very excited as I lived in South America for 2.5 years and ate a lot of Peruvian food. This recipe took me back there. The flavors are authentic. I’ve made it many, many times, and my family loves it! I would also like to add that if you make it in the winter when fresh corn isn’t available, frozen corn works, too. I just add it as another vegetable to sauté with the onions, leeks, etc. Thank you for sharing it. It’s simmering on the stove as I type (with fresh corn on the cob, natch!).

    1. Hey Mary,
      Oh wow, thank you! I’m so glad you like it and that it’s a regular feature in your home. <3

      I just bought a few ears of corn this past weekend at the farmers' market. So good. Nothing beats fresh summer corn. Thanks for the frozen corn tip as well.

  20. My dad, 71 and proper foodie from an era before the word came into existence, whilst not having a particular love for latin food (although a huge enthusiast of the life style) and more of a french and asian food lover, literally jumped up and down hogging the bowl and finished ur Peruvian Cilantro Chicken Soup in one go without even making it out of the kitchen! Slurping sounds and all :) Immediately after send me to the store to get ingredients for a proper broth which has been slowly doing it’s thing on the stove for over 24hrs now (no, he doesn’t know about pressure cookers and trust me, save your energy and just let him enjoy the remainder of his cooking years the slow way 😉

    We have a date somewhere next week to make it again, he just loved it!

    Thanks for the biggest food hit I ever introduced him, yesterday there are others, but this on trumped them all 😀

    1. Hi Djé,
      I’m so honored to hear that your father loved my soup! That is the best thing I have heard all week. Seriously, thank you so much.
      I’m absolutely fine with him being the *only* person I don’t try to convince of using a pressure cooker. Low and slow for him gets my vote 100%. 😀


  21. I have had this dish and love it, i never made it myself until now. Thanks for the recipe !!! My partner is Peruvian and i surprised him with this and he loved it, Hope to try more of your recipes,

    `- Tim

    1. Hey Tim,
      You got it dude.
      Yay! So happy your partner loved it and Peruvian food is one of the *best* cuisines. I am sure your partner tells you that on a regular basis. :)

  22. Yeah, I know I’m late to the party, but this is so freaking delicious. It is also the most amazingly nuclear shade of green. You know that color green that pulsates behind the Hazardous Waste signs in some of the better episodes of Scooby-do? This is it. It makes wheatgrass look pale by comparison. I LOVE it. I can’t wait to make it for friends. Or for me again! This goes to the top of my chicken soup recipe list.

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