A bowl of Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup garnished with cilantro, jalapeno, and creme fraiche.

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.

A bowl of Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup garnished with cilantro, jalapeno, and creme fraiche.
Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup

Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup – let the magic of roasted tomatillos and jalapeños warm you from the inside.

A bowl of Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup garnished with cilantro, jalapeno, and creme fraiche.

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.

Tomatillos being prepared to make Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup.

Tomatillos being prepared to make Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup.

Well, this will warm you right up. Fire up that belly. And set your little tastebuds’ fire alarms ringing.

A bowl of Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup garnished with cilantro, jalapeno, and creme fraiche.

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.

A bowl of Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup garnished with cilantro, jalapeno, and creme fraiche.

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

The tomatillos, when roasted, round out their flavor into a wonderful, mellow heat. If you desire more, then add a jalapeno. If not, certainly leave it out. The dollop of creme fraiche will also help to tone down any fiery flavors. This soup is very flexible — feel like making it vegetarian? Leave out the chicken. Beans and corn kernels would work nicely as well.
A bowl of Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup garnished with cilantro, jalapeno, and creme fraiche.
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5 from 1 vote
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 178kcal


  • 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.


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 12.4mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.6mg
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Recipe Rating

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  1. Inger T

    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!

    • Liren Baker

      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!

  2. michelle

    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!

  3. Marc Callan

    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!

    • Liren Baker

      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!

  4. Heather

    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.

    • Liren Baker

      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!

  5. Susan

    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!

    • Liren Baker

      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!

  6. Stephanie

    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!

  7. Jill Mant~a SaucyCook

    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.

  8. Chloe @ FatBurningFurnace

    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!

  9. Patty

    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??

    • Liren

      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!

  10. Cristina

    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. :)

    • Liren

      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 :)

  11. Jean

    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.

    • Liren

      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 :)

  12. Cassie

    Beautiful soup, Liren! I love tomatillos but have never made soup with them, I bet it tastes as amazing as it looks!

  13. Holly

    This looks so fabulous. I wish I could find tomatillos where I live. I’ve looked everywhere. :(

  14. lea davenport

    Sounds great! Can’t get fresh tomatillos up here. Maybe I could use canned and add some liquid smoke?

    • Liren

      Hi Lea, sure, go for the canned/jarred tomatillos. You may not need the liquid smoke, but that’s a great idea!

  15. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }

    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!! :-)

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