Tomatillo Soup

I tend to get a little carried away when I go to the Farmer's Market. All the produce looks so good and I feel like I have to get a little bit of everything - even if I have never had it before and have no idea how to prepare it. I guess there's no better motivation to learn how to cook something than to see it sitting on your kitchen counter just waiting to be used. Or that's at least my thought process.

This is what happened the first time I bought tomatillos. They were so pretty and green, sitting in that basket on the Farmer's Market table, and just begged me to bring them home. Food talks to me, you know. I had a vague idea that they could be used for a green salsa so I bought a bag full and brought them home. 

For those of you who haven't cooked with tomatillos before, this is what they look like:

See why I couldn't turn them down? They're so pretty. They're like green tomatoes with a husk on the outside. (Make sure you take the husk off before using.)

I got my tomatillos home and made that green salsa. It was delicious. And only used a quarter of what I had bought. What do you do in that situation?

Well, if you are me, you google possible uses for tomatillos.

I came up with a soup that sounded pretty good. I made it up, not expecting much, and was surprised at how good it was. It was like a Southwestern sweet and sour soup. Tomatillos have a bright, sour flavor and there was plenty of heat from the jalepenos, hot sauce and cayenne pepper in the soup. It was different and delicious. I made sure to buy more tomatillos the next time I went back to the Farmer's Market so I could have it again. And again. I was excited to see tomatillos in my CSA basket this past week because I knew just what to do with them. I've added to the recipe and tweaked it a little over the years to make it a little more filling. It's definitely one of my favorite soups for a cool, rainy Spring/Summer day. 

Not that we've been having any of those lately.

Tomatillo Soup


1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds chopped tomatillos
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
tortilla chips (optional)


1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions to saucepan and saute until golden. Add garlic and cook and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in tomatillos, jalapeno peppers and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes.

2. Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Return to pot and taste. Add cayenne pepper, hot sauce if more heat is needed. Stir in corn, black beans and chicken and cook over medium heat until heated through.

3. Just before serving, stir in the minced cilantro and ladle into bowls. Put a dollop of sour cream on top of each portion and some cheese and tortilla chips, if desired. 

Yield: Six servings

Recipe source: adapted from allrecipes.com

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