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story.lead_photo.caption Peruvian Chicken Soup

This not the same old chicken soup! I love its deep-green color, with shred of poached chicken showing through.

I am always game for another chicken soup recipe, especially when it comes together as easily as this one does. It's based on a restorative soup called aguadito de pollo that is hearty with rice, peas, corn, bell pepper and sometimes potato.

Things are simplified here, but the base of it begins the same way: with a green puree. Cilantro is most often the go-to fresh herb used in Peruvian cooking. But some can't abide its taste, so we're using parsley instead. Jalapeno gives it a kick, but not too much.

Peruvian Chicken Soup

1 small jalapeno pepper

1 small onion, peeled and quartered

1 rib celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled

8 stems flat-leaf parsley (can substitute cilantro)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup dried quinoa, rinsed

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)

Flaky sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 or 2 limes, for serving

Cut the flesh of the jalapeno away from its seed core, discarding the latter. Combine the jalapeno flesh, onion quarters, celery, garlic, parsley (leaves and tender stems) and oil; pulse to create a pestolike consistency. (If the mixture proves difficult to break down, add a few tablespoons of the broth to get things moving.)

Transfer to a medium saucepan or pot over medium heat. Cook for a minute, stirring, then add the broth. And the quinoa, once the mixture starts to bubble, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Cut the chicken crosswise into 5 or 6 pieces, adding them to the pot as you work. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the chicken and quinoa are cooked through; the quinoa will thicken and look "popped open," thickening the soup.

Use tongs to transfer the chicken pieces to a cutting board; use two forks to shred the meat, then return it to the pot, along with the peas, if using. Once the peas are heated through and tender, taste and season the soup with salt and pepper, as needed.

Cut the limes into wedges. Serve the soup hot, with some lime for each portion.

Makes 2 servings.

Adapted from a recipe in The Midlife Kitchen by Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice (Mitchell Beazley, 2017)

Food on 04/25/2018

Print Headline: Tasty chicken soup starts with green puree

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