Warm Up with a Cilantro and Plantain Chicken Soup

By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

Plantain-Cilantro-Chicken soup Plantain-Cilantro-Chicken soup

My brother in law, David, went to culinary school about 10 years ago. While my college homework consisted mostly of writing papers and studying for exams, David's included cooking recipes for the entire family. We always managed to find one or two nights during the week to gather around the kitchen to watch him working on recipes for school. One of his famous, signature dishes is a Cilantro and Plantain Chicken soup that the entire family has enjoyed since the moment he first made it. We kept asking him to make the soup and to make enough to last for a few days. Now, more than a decade later, we still make the soup during family gatherings and lunches. The big difference is that while we used to cook and eat whenever we wanted, now we have to consider a new generation. We have kids that range from seven months to five years old running around the house during the day, with parents trying to get them into bed early so they can make it to school the next day. Our weekly gatherings begin and end earlier now.

Try this recipe with some delicious Nachostones made with green plantains

About a week ago when we gathered for lunch, we found roasted chicken leftovers in the fridge from the day before. Since mi hermanita Angie always keeps plantains and cilantro at home, we decided to make our favorite Cilantro and Plantain Chicken soup. A small detail: we were babysitting that morning and with the kids around, cooking was becoming a bit of a challenge. Well, we brought their playpen to the kitchen, wrapped them up in their favorite blankets, and let them sip from our warm broth as we cooked. Not only did they soon fall into a peaceful nap, we ended up making one of the best plantain soups we ever had.

IngredientsPlantain-Cilantro-Chicken soupPlantain-Cilantro-Chicken soup

(8 servings)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ripe plantains, peeled, sliced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 white onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric Plantain-Cilantro-Chicken SoupPlantain-Cilantro-Chicken Soup
8 oz. orange juice
1 qt. chicken stock
8 oz. heavy cream
2 roasted chicken breasts, cut in chunks


Place the butter, olive oil, plantains, sugar and salt in a large pan at medium heat. Stir until the plantains turn a golden color. Then, add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and mix well with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients caramelize together. Add the cilantro, turmeric and orange juice. Let the mix cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a separate pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil, and add it to the plantain mix. Separately, warm the heavy cream, and slowly add to the soup. Let the ingredients simmer for 10 minutes. Place 2 ounces of the roasted chicken and 1 ounce of cilantro inside each individual bowl. Pour the soup over the chicken, and garnish with more cilantro.

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