This vibrant, delicious Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup is loaded with lean protein and a boatload of fresh, healthy veggies! Make it low carb... or not, depending on your preference and/or dietary restrictions.
Have you discovered the fresh, vibrant flavors of Peru? We've discovered that Peruvian cuisine is a favorite of young and old alike, as our Peruvian Green Sauce, Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers and Peruvian Chicken and Rice Bowls have become some of the most popular recipes on our site. This Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup, our latest addition to the collection, boasts the same fabulous flavors in a comforting soup edition!
Peruvian Cuisine - a fusion of flavors!
Bon Appetit Magazine shares that Peru "is considered by many to be the gastronomic capital of the Americas". And for good reason! The culinary history of Peru is quite fascinating. Peru's cuisine has been influenced over the years by both Asian and Latin American cultures, producing a wonderful fusion of flavors. That's why you find things like ginger and soy combined with cumin and other Latin American-inspired ingredients. If you're interested, you can read more about the history of Peruvian cuisine in our Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers post.
A unique rendition
If you Google "Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup" (aka Aguadito de pollo)you find a plethora of unique versions. It's similar to so many other beloved ethnic recipes with each family (and region of the country) having their own unique renditions. There are some across-the-board constants though with practically every recipe I've come across; chicken, vegetables and cilantro.
So if you are Peruvian, have Peruvian relatives, or are an expert on Peruvian cuisine, please don't judge me. This is simply my take on a delicious classic.
Low carb... or not!
How can this Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup be "low carb... or not"? It's actually quite simple!
Scott and I have been cutting back a bit on carbs so when I've made this soup, I simply sub a bag of cauliflower rice for the regular rice. The cauliflower rice adds an additional layer of fabulous flavor and a bunch of great nutrition (cauliflower is low in calories and chockful of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber).
Peas fall into the medium range of vegetables on the carb scale with ½ cup having 8g of net carbs. If you're trying to stay away from carbs, the peas can be omitted. Carrots also fall into the medium-carb veggie range with a cup having 9g of net carbs. Other than peas and carrots (which are high in other valuable nutrients), this Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup (when made with cauliflower rice) is loaded with protein and low-carb ingredients.
Garnish... or not!
Although this Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup is great on its own, it's also fun to pizzazz it up a bit with one or more garnishes. Here are some ideas:
- Scallions and chopped cilantro (the classic garnish for this soup.)
- A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Salted, roasted pepitas
- Pickled red onions
- Crispy corn tortilla strips
- Crumbled Cotija cheese
- Lime wedges
- Freshly ground black pepper
This Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup is comfort food at its best! It comes together quickly and reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop making it great for easy lunches and casual weeknight dinners. Put it on your must-make list!
Cafe Tips for making this Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup
- Don't worry about being precise when chopping the veggies for this soup. They will all (except the carrots) get pureed after being sautéed.
- This recipe calls for 1 large poblano chili pepper. Poblanos are flavorful Mexican chili peppers that have a mild level of heat. They may have a light kick at 1,000-2,000 Scoville Heat Units(SHUs,) where a typical jalapeño is 2,000-8,000 on the same scale.
- The regular carb recipe for this Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup calls for 2 cups of cooked rice. If you want to enjoy this soup for several days, I recommend adding the rice as you go rather than adding it all at once.
- This recipe calls for 1-2 teaspoons of Aji Amarillo Paste. Aji Amarillo Paste is a widely used ingredient in Peruvian cuisine. It's made from ground, fresh aji amarillo chilies and adds a unique, delicious layer of flavor to many Peruvian recipes. You can find this paste at ethnic grocery stores and online, but if you can't find it or don't want to order it, you can sub a medium, finely chopped jalapeño for the Aji Amarillo Paste.
- I suggest adding 1 teaspoon of the Aji Amarillo Paste to start with, then adding more to taste. You can always add more but you can't take away the heat.
- Cauliflower rice is used in the low-carb version of this soup. Either frozen or fresh cauliflower rice will work. You can find frozen cauliflower rice at most larger grocery stores with the other frozen veggies. Many stores have also begun to stock fresh cauliflower rice as its popularity has increased with the Adkins and Keto diet movements as well as many people's desire to eat healthy.
Thought for the day:
Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
unless it abides in the vine,
so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion roughly chopped
- 1 large yellow bell pepper roughly chopped
- 2 medium ribs celery roughly chopped
- 1 large poblano pepper roughly chopped
- 6 medium cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons Aji Amarillo Paste or sub 1 medium jalapeño, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons coriander
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces carrots sliced ¼-inch thick
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups rotisserie or leftover chicken or turkey
- 1 medium bunch cilantro leaves and stems
- ¼ cup parsley just leaves
- 1 cup baby peas
- 2 cups cooked rice I like to use jasmine or basmati rice
- 10-12 ounces frozen or fresh cauliflower rice 3-4 cups
- green onions thinly sliced
- cilalntro sprigs
- lime wedges
- fresh ground black pepper
Heat a medium-large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery and poblano. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the veggies are softened and the onion is translucent.
Add the garlic, aji amarillo paste, oregano, cumin and coriander. Stir well and cook for another 1-2 minutes until nice and fragrant.
Add the 2 cups of the chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the contents of the pot to a blender container and allow to cool while you continue with the soup recipe.
Add the remaining 6 cups of broth, the carrots, salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are nice and tender.
Towards the end of the cooking time, add the cilantro and parsley to the mixture in the blender (it should be cooled down by this point). Blend for 1-2 minutes on high speed until smooth.
Add the cilantro mixture to the contents of the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, baby peas and cooked rice.
Cover the pot and allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. Uncover and taste. Add more salt, if needed (there are a lot of veggies to season so you may need more). Ladle into bowls, serve and enjoy!
Garnish as desired with any or all of the garnishes mentioned in the ingredient list or in the post.
Add the cauliflower rice to the pot when you add the cilantro mixture back in. Omit the cooked rice. If you prefer even less carbs, you can omit the baby peas and carrots.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
*The nutritional information given below is for the regular carb version. Here is the nutritional info for the low-carb version:
Fat 7g, Fiber 2g, Calcium 44g, Calories 160, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 36mg, Sugar 3g, Iron 2mg, Carbohydrates 7g (net), Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Sodium 553, Vitamin A 247IU, Protein 17g, Monounsaturated Fat 4g, Potassium 446mg ,Vitamin C 62mg