Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup
Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup – let the magic of roasted tomatillos and jalapeños warm you from the inside with this simple recipe.
Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup – let the magic of roasted tomatillos and jalapeños warm you from the inside.
It’ll put hair on your chest.
But I’m guessing you could use some right now. Some soup, that is. Though, who knows, maybe you might want a little hair on your chest, because winter is, indeed, back. And it’s cold.
Well, this will warm you right up. Fire up that belly. And set your little tastebuds’ fire alarms ringing.
I may have it easy when it comes to winter, but we finally got our share of freezing temperatures this week. When I let the dog out this morning and was greeted by a blast of frigid air, I was craving soup well before breakfast time. As soon as I could, into the oven these tomatillos went, to roast and soften into a smokey, spicy pulp. They were going to be perfect in a Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup.
I may have gotten a little overzealous, because I roasted a whole jalapeno, too, and threw it into the soup pot. Let’s just say, I was shivering one minute, and sweating the next.
The good thing is, you don’t have to add that jalapeno. The tomatillos do enough magic on their own. But if it’s cold and snowy where you are, and the windows are frosted over and you are craving some heat, you may have to just call in the big guns. I assure you, the peppers will do the trick.
Note: This post first appeared January 18, 2012; the recipe has been updated from the archives with improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation, and updated photographs. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.
More soup recipes to warm you from the inside:
Habanero Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Instant Pot Beef Nilaga
Roasted Tomato, Garlic, and Herb Soup
Pressure Cooker Creamy Rotisserie Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Filipino Chicken and Asparagus Sotanghon (Glass Noodle) Soup
Simple, Classic Chili
Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup
- 4 medium tomatillos peeled and clean
- 1 jalapeno optional
- 1/2 cup cilantro plus extra for garnish
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 leek white parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to taste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 skinless boneless chicken breast
- creme fraiche for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roast the tomatillos (and jalapeno if desired) for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway. The peppers will be done when browned and soft to the touch. Let it cool for a few minutes, then place in a food processor with the cilantro and puree. If using the jalapeno, remove and discard seeds before pureeing. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook the leeks, until softened. Add the garlic and season lightly with salt. Add the chicken stock, cumin and chicken, and bring to a boil. Let it cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred. Set aside.
- Working in batches, put tomatillo puree and soup into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the soup pot, bring to a boil and simmer. Adjust seasoning as necessary and put the chicken back into the pot and heat through.
- Serve hot with a dollop of creme fraiche, additional cilantro garnish, and some crusty warm bread or tortilla strips.
I grew Tomatillos this year in my garden and was searching for something to make other than Salsa Verde. This soup did not disappoint!
My “slight” changes: I used 6 tomatillos due to their size; I used the seeds from the Jalapeno (also grown in my garden) because I don’t mind the mild heat; I added more cumin “to taste” and the juice from 1/2 of a fresh lime. I will definitely make this on a regular basis.
NOTE: Do NOT throw the tops of the leeks away – wash and freeze them to add to future broth/stock.
Hi, Vera! I’m thrilled this soup make good use of your homegrown tomatillos! And thanks for sharing your tip on the leeks, too!
I used the backbone for my entry into a workplace soup contest. I had frozen tomatillos from my garden 1 lb 6oz. used 2 jalepenos, 3 leeks and 3 shallots. I also used a cooked rotisserie chicken that I deboned and shredded. I only blended half of the mixture so that it was more chunky. Additional spices were ground coriander and dried oregano. Added 2 cans of cannellini beans and mashed about 1/2 cup for thickener. Near the end of cooking, I also added 2 T lime juice. I left all the cilantro out because some people don’t like it. The optional toppers I offered at the contest were crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro and chopped jalapenos. I won second place!
Patricia, congrats on the contest! That’s wonderful! I love the adjustments you made; it must have been especially lovely with your home-grown tomatillos.
Haven’t tried this, but will very soon! I planted 1 tomatillo last year & used the fruit all summer, made 3 quarts green salsa, enough to last 2 winters; froze enough to get me through another year, and this spring, low & behold, I had several volunteers! So now I’m freezing more, making Green Turkey Chilli, etc. and again – coming out of my ears! It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Thanks for the ideas!
Wow, Sandra, what an incredible harvest of tomatillo! I hope you enjoy this soup!!
Chicken tomatillo soup
Hi Kristin and Allen! I believe you probably meant to share/email this recipe, but it looks like you left a comment instead! Next time, there is an email button under the “Share This” part under the recipe card that should help. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
This is AMAZING. Tomatillos are very rare and very expensive here in the UK so my wife and I grow our own mainly to make this soup. We add sweetcorn to bulk it out a touch but adore it. Thank you!
I am SO happy to hear that, Gareth! Tomatillos are so special, and how wonderful that you can grown your own for this soup! Love the addition of the corn!
i haven’t made this yet- but i will! sounds great ! my plants are thriving!!! i love finding new recipes to make for tomatillos- they are so yummy!
Love this recipe!! I’ve made it several times now. Thank you
I’m so happy to hear that, Mary! Thank you!
Can anyone who made this recipe clarify the the amount of tomatillos they have used? The recipe calls for 4 medium tomatillos, then blend in batches. Seems like 4 tomatillos could be blended in one batch.. Perhaps this recipe has a typo and it should be 4 pounds or 40 medium tomatillos? Thanks!
Hi Inger, it is indeed four (4) tomatillos.
You will note that in step 1, all the tomatillos are blended together after roasting.
Then, in step 3, the soup as a whole is blended in batches. If you have an immersion (stick) blender, then you can just go ahead and blend it all together, but for standard blenders, I always recommend blending the hot soup in batches for safety.
I hope that helps!
Hi, here it is…
Wow I was driving down the road and laying in the middle of it was an overturned box of Tomatillos hot peppers and Roma tomatoes. I pulled off to the side of the road an saved what had not been crushed.So I will try your receipie!
It must be fate! What an incredible find — I’m so glad you were able to save the fruit! Enjoy the soup!
We LOVED this soup the first time I made it, and thought it really is a recipe that can be played with. I’m adding cannellini beans tonight. It smells and tastes delicious!
Hi Marc, a very belated thank you for your comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup — cannellini beans sounds like a great addition!
I made this the other night, it is soooo good! I used a little non fat greek yogurt with lime juice instead of the cream fraiche, and added a little cubed avocado for healthy fats. I will be making this again. I also used white onion and a little minced garlic instead of leeks, those are hard to find in my grocery store.
Hi Heather, I love how you adapted the soup. Greek yogurt is a great substitute for creme fraiche, and avocado is a perfect match! I really appreciate your coming back to let me know – thank you!
With all the rain we got this weekend, a warming bowl of soup is just what I’m craving!
Wow! I made this soup this morning and it is REALLY REALLY delicious! This is a definite keeper recipe!
One thing that I was unsure of was how to measure the tomatillos. We don’t get them fresh here in Toronto, so I grew my own this summer!
Last night we got our first ripe ones…they are about the size of golf balls. As a newbie, it would have been helpful to know in cups or weight how many you used.
Truly a lovely recipe though…thanks!
Hi Susan, I am so glad you loved it and consider a keeper! How lucky you are to have homegrown tomatillos — I appreciate your reminding me about providing measurement in cups/weight, I will be sure to include that next time and will work on updating the recipe :) Thank you!
I made this a couple nights ago, and I can say from experience that it is SO. GOOD. I’ve actually never had tomatillos (or leeks) before, but my CSA box has me broadening my horizons every week. I did double the chicken and the garlic (which I almost always do), and I will say that the creme fraiche is absolutely essential. Also, use home made stock if you can!
This is a new favorite in my house!
Stephanie, this makes me so happy! With chilly days ahead, I can’t wait to make it again myself :)
Awesome recipe :)
Looks absolutely delicious! Here is a chicken soup you might like to try.
Thanks for sharing,
it’s completely different with the common soup in my country….i think i should try it…looks very delicious, thanks :)
OMG this sounds delicious!! And I loved the comment about putting hair on your chest; my dad used to tell me that all the time whne I was a kid. Do ya think he wanted a boy? HA! I love Tomatillo’s and will most likely throw in the Jalepeno, after all I am in Colorado! Cheers! BTW your photo’s are lovely Liren.
I had tomatillo soup a long while ago and I liked it but never found it anywhere else, let alone a recipe! So happy I stumbled on your site! I love the ease of how you make it sound to make. This looks even better because of the roasted aspect! Got you saved to my favs – going to be great for these colder months!
The soup looks tasty and I would love to try but I have never cooked with tomatillos. I love the green “Verde” sauce at a local restaurant, I have said many times I could drink the sauce on its own, and it is not spicy, was wondering about the soup??
Hi Patty, thank you :) I think my soup ended up especially spicy because I had a particularly spicy jalapeno. I would suggest cooking the soup and holding off on the jalapeno addition, because it surely will be milder. If you want more heat, then you can add a much as you need!
I love tomatillos…was thinking about trying to grow them in my garden this year. They’re so flavorful and lend a beautiful green colour. Gorgeous, tasty looking soup, Liren. I’m definitely going to give your soup a try for dinner this week. It will be a welcoming meal during these chilly days in SD. :)
Tomatillos would be wonderful to add to your garden, Cristina! I really hope to start my own this year :) Flowers are well and good, but we really need to start a veggie garden :)
Liren, what a brilliant idea to use tomatillos in soup. It certainly has been cold in our parts lately. Now that it’s raining, too, I can’t think of a better way to warm my belly than with a big bowl of your soup.
I replied to your comment on my blog but it warrants repeating: Your photography is fabulous and you are one of the people who keep me inspired. I’m still smiling from your wood in the truck comment! :)
Have a great weekend.
Jean, I love how we inspire and encourage one another. I am so flattered and humbled at the same time – I just love seeing how we both have learned so much in the time we’ve been on this blogging adventure :)
The soup looks wonderful.
Beautiful soup, Liren! I love tomatillos but have never made soup with them, I bet it tastes as amazing as it looks!
This looks all kinds of awesome!
This looks so fabulous. I wish I could find tomatillos where I live. I’ve looked everywhere. :(
I wish I could send you some, Holly!
Sounds great! Can’t get fresh tomatillos up here. Maybe I could use canned and add some liquid smoke?
Hi Lea, sure, go for the canned/jarred tomatillos. You may not need the liquid smoke, but that’s a great idea!
Liren – this looks and sounds simply divine!!! I think with the upcoming storm this weekend, I just might have to make this for hubby and me. Your photos are stunning. Have a great rest of the week and look forward to seeing you soon!! :-)