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Monday, August 19, 2019

Peruvian Chicken Soup

Although I'm unsure if this recipe is authentic, it is beautiful, tasty, and, for me, unique. Better yet, it is quick. The soup can be finished in about 30 minutes.


Peruvian Chicken Soup

Serves: 2 but can be multiplied

1 small onion, cut into quarters
1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 small jalapeno pepper, optional (or it can be increased), seeds removed and coarsely chopped
8 large stems of parsley or cilantro, including tender stems, coarsely chopped
1 T oil
2 c chicken broth
1/4 c quinoa (or another option, see note below)
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast half (about 12 oz)
1/2 c frozen peas, optional
1 lime for serving

Place the onion, celery, garlic, jalapeno, and parsley or cilantro into a blender or a food processor along with the oil. Pulse until you've got a pesto-like paste. If it resists your machine's efforts add a tablespoon or two of the chicken broth and try again. It's nice to have it quite smooth but if you can't get there, don't fret. It will still taste good.

Scrape the vegetable paste into a saucepan and place on a burner over medium heat; let it heat for a minute or two. Add the broth. If your quinoa needs to be rinsed (check the package) do so and then put it into the pot. Once the mixture starts to boil, put a lid on it, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or so.

In the meantime, cut the chicken breast across the grain into 1-inch slices and place into the sauce pan. With the lid off, cook for 10 minutes until the meat is opaque. The quinoa should be starting to pop. Remove the chicken from the pan and cut it into bite size pieces. Return the chicken to the soup and stir in the peas. Cook until the peas have warmed up and are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


You may not love quinoa and although it hangs out at the bottom of the pan making it hard to serve evenly, I could find nothing objectionable in the flavor--it added texture to the soup. You could leave it out or use some potatoes, rice, or orzo (you'd have to fiddle with cooking time, though). One other negative about pasta and rice is the tendency of both to become waterlogged in any leftovers. I haven't noticed that problem with quinoa.

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