My Life in Peru

An Expat Mom Shares Her Experiences with Peruvian Life, Travel and Food

Aguadito de Pollo

Posted on | November 8, 2010 | 8 Comments

aguadito de polloAs I mentioned the other day, and probably several times before over the last couple years (!), Peruvian lunches are usually big and often have two or more courses. Soup is a favorite first course, and it’s usually a lighter soup made using leftover bones or chicken parts, like the neck, giblets and feet.

However, I’m pretty sure most of y’all aren’t really into chicken foot soup, so instead, I’m going to talk about aguadito.  This is a traditional Peruvian soup, a little heartier than the typical soup.  While everyone has their own recipe, the addition of rice and lots of cilantro (which gives it a greenish color) are what make aguadito different from other Peruvian soups.  It’s usually made with chicken, but can also be made with fish or other seafood.

I have heard that it’s also a traditional “morning after the party” soup, but don’t have any first hand knowledge on that.


  • 1 chicken, cleaned and cut into 8-10 parts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste (or four finely diced cloves)
  • 2 tbsp aji amarillo paste
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro, liquefied
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 carrot cut in cubes
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup corn kernals
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup aji amarillo, julienned (optional)


  1. In a large stock or stew pot,  saute the onion, garlic paste and aji paste in the olive oil for about five minutes on low heat.  Stir it so the onion softens but doesn’t brown, and to keep things from sticking.
  2. Add the cilantro, chicken parts and stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer.
  3. After cooking for 30 minutes, add the rice, carrots, peas and corn. If you’re in Peru, you’ll be lucky enough to pick these veggies up at the market in a pack all cleaned and ready to dump in the soup.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes more, then add the potatoes and the aji (if you’re using it). If you’re in Peru, papas amarilla are used for this.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes more, until the potatoes are done. If you’re using papas amarillas, be careful not to cook too long, or they’ll disintegrate on you (says the voice of experience).  You may need to add a little water if you’ve had a lot of evaporation.
  6. Check the salt and pepper level and adjust as needed.
  7. Enjoy!

You can make the garlic and aji paste yourself – click on the links up there for instructions – or you can buy it from the store or online – it’s all up to you!

Same with the cilantro, you can buy it online (cilantro paste from Amazon) or possibly find it at your grocer or Latin market. Otherwise, take a big bunch of fresh cilantro and stick it in the blender with enough chicken broth to make it paste-y, maybe 1/4 to a half a cup. Clean the cilantro first – make sure it doesn’t have any large stems or icky pieces in it.

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8 Responses to “Aguadito de Pollo”

  1. Tweets that mention Aguadito de Pollo or Peruvian Chicken Soup with Cilantro | My Life in Peru --
    November 8th, 2010 @ 13:09

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  2. Aguadito de Pollo or Peruvian Chicken Soup with Cilantro | My Life … | Indian Chef | Recipe Blog
    November 9th, 2010 @ 13:47

    […] Read The Original:- Aguadito de Pollo or Peruvian Chicken Soup with Cilantro | My Life … […]

  3. Keith And Lolli
    November 11th, 2010 @ 19:40

    I want to learn more Peruvian cooking because that is where my step-mother is from and I’m a big fan of her cooking but sadly I don’t get to have it that often as I live in London and she’s in Peru. I recently made an Aji de gallina which turned out really well but wasn’t the same as what I used to have in my childhood. You can check the recipe out on our blog. This also looks very good so no doubt will try it myself.
    Keith And Lolli´s last blog post ..Review- Linkin Park at The O2

  4. Natalia
    November 15th, 2010 @ 15:18

    Hi, how are you? Your recipe is good but you forgot an important ingredient to get the real aguadito. That ingredient is black beer or malta ;). Just a tip. Nice blog.


  5. Kelly
    November 15th, 2010 @ 18:15

    Interesting – I’ve not heard of that. I know some people use chicha de jora. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Julie
    November 28th, 2010 @ 14:49

    O-M-G! I can’t believe I found someone who is from the States that is pretty much similar to ME! The only difference is I live in the US- Cali and am … how do I say this? I am currently married to a Peruvian in the US and we are divorcing but I have a friend who is also from Peru that digs me too and I am entertaining the idea of dating him AFTER all the legalities have finished. Cool beans girl, we can exchange ideas and food! Love Peruvian food- ES LO MAXIMOOOO! ja ja ja.

  7. alex reccio
    January 24th, 2012 @ 23:28

    hi! i just read your recipe and it is very interesting! just wanted to let you know, it is true, back in the day when peruvians used to have their 3-day weekend parties (50’s, 60’s and part of the 70’s) aguadito de pollo was the “brunch” soup for those who where going through a bad hangover. Aguadito is one of those soups that are well attached to the memory of Peruvian living abroad. Good note, keep it up!

  8. Victor Manuel
    February 1st, 2012 @ 23:15

    The aguadito de pollo looks good , but what really make my mouth waters is the aguadito de choros ( mussels ) with fish broth mmmmm it’s delicous.

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    I got tired of life happening while I made other plans, so I quit my job and came to Peru. I live here with my Peruvian husband, two sons, three dogs and various other family members, depending on the weather.

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