Venezuelan Chicken Cheese Soup (Chupe Criollo)

By | March 23, 2015
Chupe Criollo and Corn Chips

Known as Chupe Criollo (Creole Soup) in Venezuela, this soup is really a chowder in disguise featuring chicken, cheese, corn, potatoes and one of my favorite herbs – cilantro. In fact, the recipe calls for an entire bunch of cilantro! Whereas cilantro is often used to finish a dish, here part of it is tossed in near the beginning to infuse the broth while the rest is added before serving to give it a final fresh herby punch. Since this is a chicken-and-cheese soup, traditionally you would dump in 4 to 6 ounces of cheese and let it dissolve into the soup shortly before serving. However, other recipes for Chupe Criollo advised against adding a bunch of cheese to the soup unless the entire pot will be eaten the same day it is cooked. The problem being that the cheese collects at the bottom of the soup pot in a large lump. I decided to serve the cheese on the side, and have it available to top off the soup instead of melt in it. Even if that’s not entirely authentic, I can assure you that this is an extremely delicious soup and a great introduction to South American cooking.

Chupe Criollo Ingredients

Venezuelan Chicken Cheese Soup (Chupe Criollo)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Venezuelan
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed thoroughly with cold water
  • 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 4 to 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven or soup pot and heat over medium
  2. Dump in the onions and cook 5 minutes
  3. Stir in the garlic, half the cilantro, cumin and cook for 2 minutes more
  4. Add the chicken breast, pour in the stock and bring to a boil
  5. Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked
  6. Remove chicken, cut into shreds and return to the pot
  7. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes, or so, until fork tender
  8. Dump in the corn and remaining cilantro; pour in the milk and stir well
  9. Taste for seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed
  10. Bring mixture to a simmer and serve topped with shredded mozzarella cheese (It’s also great with a few pickled jalapeno pepper slices, too)
Notes
I had a fully-cooked chicken breast on hand and used it for this go-round. In case you're wondering why that chicken was already cooked!

Heat Olive OilCook onion for 5 minutesAdd garlicStir in cilantroAdd cuminCook herbs and spicesCooked herb and spice mixtureAdd chickenPour in chicken brothReturn shredded chicken to potStir in chickenStir in potatoesCook potatoesAdd cornAdd remaining cilantroPour in evaporated milkMix togetherTop soup with mozzarella cheeseChupe Criollo

 

Looking for the perfect pot to cook up your next batch of soup? I recommend the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in 11 different colors and is an excellent value for the price.

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