Peruvian Chicken Soup (Serves 2)
This is not the same old chicken soup! We love its deep-green colour, with shreds of poached chicken showing through. The original recipe calls for cilantro, but here we are using parsley. Serve with whole-grain crackers and a tomato salad.
1 small onion
1 rib celery
1 clove garlic
1 small jalapeño pepper
8 stems flat-leaf parsley (may substitute cilantro)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chicken broth, preferably no-salt-added
1/4 cup dried quinoa
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast half (tenderloin detached)
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 or 2 limes, for serving
Peel the onion and cut it into quarters. Coarsely chop the celery. Peel the garlic and cut the flesh of the jalapeño away from its seed core, discarding the latter. Add those 4 ingredients to a blender or mini food processor, along with the 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.)
Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan or pot over medium heat. Cook for a minute, stirring, then add the broth. Rinse the quinoa, if needed (read the package directions), and then add it to the pan. Once the mixture starts to bubble, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, 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.
Adapted from a recipe in "The Midlife Kitchen," by Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice (Mitchell Beazley, 2017).
The Washington Post