I love visiting other people’s gardens and tasting food they cook from their garden. So when I went to visit Pat D.’s garden in Castleton, VA, I was in for a treat. She asked me to stay for lunch, and served a most intriguing Tomatillo Chicken soup: pale green, slightly sour with a hint of heat, it was very pleasant. I, of course, requested the recipe since tomatillos are now behaving almost like a weed in my garden – albeit a welcomed one – as they pop everywhere. Pat said she got the recipe from the internet years ago when she was trying to figure what to do with all those tomatillos. Her husband Ed has been making the soup ever since and they both love it. The original recipe called for 2 chicken breasts that one has to pound and then sautéed. I thought left over from a roast chicken – especially dark meat – would work even better. And it did. Pat’s recipe did not called for any spice, I added some coriander seeds. My recipe has less meat than hers (feel free to add more to your taste) and is also thicker. Remember, we are using meat from the chicken roasted on Sunday.
Tomatillo Chicken Soup
Yields: 4 to 6 servings as main course
- 2 green fresh jalapeno peppers
- 1 cup already cooked chicken meat – from one leg and thigh – cut into small pieces (or other parts)
- 3 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, green (i.e. fresh) if possible
- 2 pound fresh tomatillos, a mix of yellow (mature) and green (immature) if possible, husk removed
- 4 cups chicken broth from the broth you made the night before
- A few tablespoons of minced fresh cilantro leaves
- Carefully slice the jalapenos, lengthwise, cut out the white parts and remove seeds. Roughly chop. Use rubber cloves if you are sensitive to the heat. Set aside.
- Peel and slice onion into rings. Heat up pan on medium heat, add oil, add onions. Salt to taste. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly colored – 15 minutes. Add garlic and the coriander seeds. Sauté another minute.
- While onions are cooking, wash and halve the husked tomatillos. Add to onions after stirring garlic in. Add jalapenos. Add the chicken broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft – about 15 minutes.
- Puree in blender, solids first, in small batches to avoid burning yourself with spouting hot liquid.
- Serve and garnish with minced cilantro leaves. With additional hot sauce on the side and some baked corn tortilla chips. or with cheese quesadillas.
Note 1: For the two of us, this makes one dinner with plenty left to become the basis for a hearty chowder two nights later.
Note 2: The soup freezes well, if you rather do that.
Next post: Day 3: Fall Rainbow Stir-fry