I spotted this recipe for a Peruvian Chicken Soup on line, and with snow forecast, I decided that today was the day to try it out. It may sound like rather a lot of work, but I found that I could do the next bit of prep as the last was cooking, so it didn’t take me very long at all. The original recipe – I’m not Peruvian, but you knew that already, right? 😉 – called for a rotisserie chicken, but I poached two chicken breasts in stock for about 15-20 minutes, then shredded them as soon as they were cool enough to handle, and they worked really well. It’s an easy way to use up a cooked Sunday lunch chicken. This would be a great dish to feed a crowd when you have very little meat in the house, but your vegetable drawer needs tidied up! It’s warm, spicy and very comforting – especially nice when the snow arrived just as I was about to tuck into a big bowl of it!
- A large pot
- Long handled wooden spoon
- a garlic press
- a small herb mill, very useful, but not essential (see notes)
INGREDIENTS: to feed about 6 hungry people
- Cooked chicken, no more than two Chicken breasts, shredded.
- 1 tablespoon of Rapeseed oil
- A green chilli, finely chopped.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, seeded, cored and diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (I added and extra half teaspoon, because I love it)
- Salt, and Black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed through a garlic press.
- 2-3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish chunks
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced.
- 1-2 cobs of uncooked corn, kernels taken off the cob or a small tin of Sweetcorn, drained
- 120g uncooked white rice
- 1 litre of hot chicken or vegetable stock
- Thinly sliced green onions, for topping
For the Salsa:
- A large handful of fresh Coriander, including the stalks, washed and shaken dry.
- A roughly chopped Green chilli – seeds removed.
- 2 crushed cloves of garlic
- 1 lime, juiced
- Half a mug of hot water or stock.
- Put the oil into the pot and heat it,
- Prepare the onions, green chilli, red pepper, fresh corn and carrot, then add them to the oil.
- Add the ground Cumin, and salt and pepper.
- Stir it around well and let it cook fairly gently for 5-10 minutes until softened but not browned.
- Prepare the crushed garlic and potatoes, weigh out the rice. Make up the litre of hot stock.
- Add the garlic and stir for a minute or so until it’s fragrant.
- Then add the rice, potatoes and all the stock.
- Stir well to combine, then reduce to a gentle simmer and leave for 20 minutes until both the rice and potatoes are cooked.
- Make the Salsa – If you have a herb mill, put all the ingredients into it and blitz until you have a fragrant green sauce. If you haven’t , just crop the coriander and green chilli as finely as you can, add the crushed garlic and lime juice, and mash it together for a while to combine.
- When the soup is cooked add in the shredded chicken and the Salsa, and allow the chicken to heat through for about 5 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning, and adjust to your taste.
- Serve in bowls with a handful of finely chopped spring onions sprinkled over.
- This makes a thick, almost stew-like soup, so if you don’t like a thick soup, just add some more stock until it is, as Shakespeare would say, ‘As you like it’ 😉
- If you don’t have fresh corn (I was just lucky today) use a drained tin, but add it towards the end of the cooking time.
- I didn’t have a lime, so I used the juice of a whole lemon, and it was a little too ‘lemony’ even for me, so just reduce the juice quantities to half a lemon if you’re using it.
- I had most of the ingredients to hand today, but as I mentioned, it’s a great way to use up those rather sad remains at the bottom of the vegetable drawer – virtually anything will be suitable.