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Chicken + Cilantro Soup | Aguadito de Pollo


 

Peruvian Chicken + Cilantro Soup | Aguadito de Pollo

When chicken soup comes to mind we almost always associate it with long rainy days, cold winter nights and sick days in bed.  While this recipe certainly comes in handy in all those situations it is just as perfect in spring or around a summer camp fire.  When you say chicken soup I think of young hens gently simmering on the stove for an hour until the braising liquid turns into this beautiful golden broth and the meat cooks to fork-tender.

Aguadito de Pollo is a Peruvian chicken, rice and vegetable soup.  It is a light yet satisfying soup.  The colorful green broth is infused with cilantro, aji amarillo which is an orange-fleshed chili pepper widely used in its native Peru and lime juice.

Peruvian Chicken + Cilantro Soup | Aguadito de Pollo

Peruvian Chicken + Cilantro Soup | Aguadito de Pollo

A significant amount of cilantro and some parsley give this soup its vibrant green color.

Peruvian Chicken + Cilantro Soup | Aguadito de Pollo

In Peru Aguadito de Pollo is sometimes consumed at dawn or after a night of partying as a way to cure a hangover.

Peruvian Chicken + Cilantro Soup | Aguadito de Pollo

 

PERUVIAN CHICKEN + CILANTRO SOUP | AGUADITO DE POLLO

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2 stalks celery, halved
2 carrots, grated
1 medium onion, grated
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup white rice, rinsed
7-to-8 cups chicken broth
salt and black pepper
one bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and fine stems
half a bunch fresh parsley, leaves and fine stems
4-to-10 cloves garlic
fresh aji amarillo or paste (orange-fleshed chili pepper widely used in its native Peru)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups shredded (into bite-sized) chicken, previously cooked
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
lime, cut into wedges

Put the celery, carrots, onion, potatoes and rice into a large pot.  Cover with broth and season lightly with salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to simmer and cook for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cilantro, parsley, garlic and Aji Amarillo chili pepper or paste in a food processor and pulse until finely minced.  With the machine running on low slowly dribble in olive oil and process until mixture is smooth.

Remove the celery stalks with tongs and discard. Add prepared cilantro-chili paste and frozen peas to the soup, bring back to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and bell pepper.  Simmer for another 10 minutes or until chicken is warmed through.

Season with salt and black pepper.  Serve hot with a wedge of lime.

 

Peruvian Chicken + Cilantro Soup | Aguadito de Pollo

 

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