Aguadito De Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)

This Aguadito De Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup) recipe is easy to make, and full of the best fresh and delicious flavors, including lots and lots of cilantro!

Hey hey! It’s new soup day!

Well, this one is at least a new favorite of mine. Have you ever tried aguadito before? It’s basically the Peruvian version of chicken and rice soup, and it is muy delicioso. The base of the soup is the basic chicken, rice and veggies that we all know and love. But the Peruvian version adds an extra fresh and fun kick by having you puree a ton of cilantro, chile peppers, onions, garlic and lime juice in a blender. Then just before serving, you stir in the cilantro mixture in with the chicken and rice, and — poof — it instantly turns this classic into a show-stopping vibrant, fresh, and flavorful green soup! (And yes, it really is that green. It practically glows!) ?

So if you happen to be feeling all the spring vibes lately — but mayyyy not be quite ready to transition out of winter “soup season” just yet (I’m a 365-soup girl myself ) — I feel like this recipe is the perfect bridge between seasons. It’s definitely been the delicious bridge between mine this year.

Let’s make some.

Alright, so let’s talk about this magical cilantro sauce that takes this simple chicken and rice soup from classic…to fantastic. ? ?

Before you start making your soup base, begin by sauteeing some poblano pepper and onions and garlic and aji amarillo paste (or a serrano or jalapeño pepper) in your stock pot until they’re soft and cooked.

Transfer them to the blender, and let them sit and cool down a bit while you make the rest of the soup. Then, once your soup has been simmering for awhile, the potatoes and rice are nearly cooked and ready to go, finish up that sauce! Just add a bunch of fresh cilantro leaves (some stems are ok) and lime juice to the blender…

…then puree the heck out of it until the mixture is super-smooth (about 1 minute). Once the soup is ready to go, stir in the cilantro mixture at the last minute until combined. Garnish with extra cilantro and green onions…

…and serve!

See? SO GREEN! And seriously, SO GOOD.

Also, if you want, you can totally make it SO SPICY. The traditional Peruvian version of this soup uses aji chiles (or much easier to find in the U.S. — this aji amarillo paste) as the heat in this soup, and you can add as much or as little as you’d like. Or if you can’t find the paste, feel free to just add in a serrano or jalapeño pepper. (Or skip the chile peppers altogether, if you’re not into spicy food.)

However you make it,

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Aguadito De Pollo (Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup)

Learn how to make traditional Aguadito De Pollo (Peruvian Chicken and Rice Soup) with this delicious and easy recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 large poblano pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste (or 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, cored and diced)
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 2 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup white or brown rice
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
  • juice of 1 lime
  • optional garnishes: extra chopped fresh cilantro leaves, thinly-sliced green onions

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add the diced poblano pepper and white onion, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent.  Stir in the aji amarillo paste (or diced serrano or jalapeño) and garlic.  Continue sautéing for 1-2 more minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.  Transfer the entire mixture to a large blender, and set aside to cool.
  2. Return the stockpot to the heat.  Add 5 cups chicken stock, cooked chicken, potatoes, carrots, rice, peas, cumin, and stir to combine.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low so that the soup maintains a low simmer.  Cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and the rice is cooked.
  3. Once the soup is ready, add the cilantro leaves and lime and remaining 1 cup chicken stock to the blender along with the pepper mixture.  Pureé for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture is completely smooth.
  4. Stir the cilantro mixture into the soup.  Taste, and season with a generous pinch (or more) of salt and black pepper as needed.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with your desired garnishes.

Feel free to also add in 1/2 cup whole kernel corn if you’d like.  And some traditional recipes also add in diced red bell pepper, which you’re welcome to add.  Also, if the soup is too thick to your liking, feel free to add in an extra cup of chicken stock.

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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41 comments on “Aguadito De Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)”

  1. It looks really green and healthy, my kind of thing. I’ve never heard of this type of soup but I’d love to try it myself!

    Charmaine Ng

  2. Yummmm! This soup sounds amazing!

  3. Looks delicious! Is this supposed to be warmed through after adding the cilantro mixture or served as is?

    • Thanks, Elisabeth, we hope you enjoy it! The soup should still be plenty warm after you’ve added the cilantro mixture.

  4. Sooo cooool! I must try it.

  5. Your photo looks like you have carrots in the soup, but I do not see carrots in the ingredients list. Is it red bell peppers instead? Looks yummy!  I’m looking forward to trying it. 

  6. This is so bright and vibrant! I love it! Perfect springy soup

  7. I made this last night. It was FABULOUS! Really easy, too. My grocer did not have pablano chilies so I substituted a can of diced chilis. I also added the red pepper you suggested.

    Next time I will make sure I get the pablano and will probably roast it first. Also, I may add more peas (because I love peas). This will definitely be a regular at my house.

    • Thank you so much for sharing with us, Tina, we’re so happy to hear you loved it! :)

  8. This looks and sounds incredibly satisfying and fresh flavored!!

  9. That looks delicious!!  I have never heard of this kind of soup but I love love peruvian green sauce that goes on roasted chicken!  This seems like it uses a lot of the same flavors.  I am certain I would LOVE this too!!! YUM! 

    • Thank you, Maria — it’s SO tasty, we hope you can give it a try! :)

  10. I LOVE this!  It’s like a chimichurri chicken soup!  I am going to try this, I’m a soup kinda girl:)

  11. nice! looks jam-packed with healthy flavors, thank you for this recipe!

  12. My husband was sick and he asked me for a chicken soup. I found your recipe and I wanted to tell you that my husband really liked your Pollo Peruvian Chicken soup.

  13. Looks great!  I make a big pot of soup every Sunday to have through the week.  Would that be a problem  if the puree isn’t supposed to go in until right before serving?

    • Thanks, Brandi, we hope you enjoy! And we think it’s fine to go ahead and put all of the puree in after you make it.

  14. I made this last night and it is outstanding! My new favorite soup! Even the kids liked it! Thanks for another great recipe! Your blog is my favorite and I hope you do a cookbook someday!! Congratulations on your engagement!

    • Thanks, Tiffany, we’re so thrilled you and your kiddos loved this, and that you enjoy the blog! :)

  15. A wonderful recipe my whole family enjoyed! My youngest claimed, “I would eat any vegetable you put in this soup–it was so good.” The flavors are bright yet subtle. I tried to char the poblano pepper a bit before pureeing and I could taste the flavor. At the suggestion of my Peruvian friend, I will add corn next time. Thank you for this one!

    Rating: 4.5
    • Thanks, Cristina — we’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, and we bet corn would be a yummy addition to this! :)

  16. Hi:

    The recipe looks good. Im from Peru and I would like to share with you that the original recipe calls for blended cilantro and blended parley (only leafs no stems) and no cummin if only a bit of black pepper. (Its not pleasent to have soup and feel the leafs) The aji amarillo is really what makes the based of the seasoning. The onions are chopped finally and the based is done with chopped garlic as well and usually we dont blended it. Jalapeño could be usedsince is also mild in flavor but it wont taste the same. Its better to use white rice since in Peru brown rice is not commonly used (plus it would take more water to cook changing the texture from the soup) Lemon juice is only added once served if the person who is going to eat likes it. You can add minced cilantro.
    Traditionally, the Aguadito is done with chicken bones to get more flavor and its usually made the day after New Year’s after all the partying is done.

  17. Here is the recipe we make at home, in case you are interested. This soup comes from the coast and my grandmother (she is from the North part) used to make it after New Year.

    Aguadito:

    2 tablespoons oil
    6 pieces of chicken (preferably drumsticks)
    1 cup red onion minced
    3 tablespoons ají amarillo paste (you can find it in specialty stores)
    1/2 cup cilantro puree (take a 3/4 cup of leafs and blended them with water , use only leafs)
    1/2 cup green peas
    1/4 cup carrots smalldiced
    1/4 cup red peppers medium diced
    1/2 cup Peruvian corn (is big compared to Sweet corn, if not available leave it out)
    1 cup white rice
    3 medium size yellow potatoes diced (any starchy variety will do)
    8 cups chicken stock (a simple way to do it, its to boil water with chicken bones for 30 min )
    salt and black pepper

    Warm up the oil on a medium pan at medium heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper. Sear them well until you get a light golden color out. Take the chicken pieces out and in the same pan, add the red onions and sweat them well for 3 minutes approximately. Then add the yellow paste and the cilantro paste, stir it well trying to get all the moisture out for 5 minutes aprox. Add the green peas, carrots, red peppers, the rice and the chicken ( and the corn if you have it). Add the chicken stock, if not just water. Adjust heat to medium intensity and put the lid on top of the pan, let it boil for half hour. Then, add the potatoes and let it cook for 10 min.
    Serve with a bit of rocoto paste (a very spicy chili but not as hot as an Habanero chilli) and a bit of lime juice.

    The green peas, red peppers and carrots are use traditionally. Its better to not use green peppers (too mild) and green onions (are too strong for this soup) they would really change the flavor for this.

    • Thanks for sharing the recipe with us, Erica — it sounds wonderful! :)

  18. This is excellent! I substituted two serranos and a large shallot for the poblano and onion, plus I added some parsley to the green sauce. . I did not have the aji amarillo paste, nor did I add cumin. I did add some corn to the soup. We really loved it and I will definitely make this again!

    Rating: 5
  19. Made this tonight! Awesome and delish! Nice to make something different than the usual soups I make. Will definitely be making it again! Tasted a lot like the soups in the mexican restaurants.

    Rating: 4.5
  20. This was really good! My husband and I both loved it. I froze some to save for when we get sick. (I’ve since defrosted some and it was great!!)

    Rating: 5
  21. This looks delicious! If someone isn’t a meat eater would you recommend subbing for something else or just skipping the chicken and carrying on as usual? Thanks!