Guatemalan Chicken Soup

I’ve been feeling a bit rundown the past day or two, so of course chicken soup came to mind. This low sodium version is adapted from a classic Guatemalan recipe served at restaurant Pura Vida here in Philadelphia. Full of veggies, chicken, garlic and ginger, it’s a powerful folk remedy for whatever ails ya. I’ll be running full steam ahead in no time. Oh yeaahh.

Serves 8.

SODIUM CONTENT: 104 mg per serving


1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 c. diced carrot (about 2-3 carrots, peeled)
1 c. diced green bell pepper (about 1/2 pepper, cored and seeded)
1 c. diced onion (about 1/2 med/lg onion)
1 15-oz. can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, drained and diced
1/3 c. diced celery (about 3 small inner ribs, with leaves)
5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
3 T. minced fresh ginger (1 thumb-sized piece, peeled)
8 c. water
8 t. very-low-sodium or sodium-free chicken bouillon granules
2 T. lemon or lime juice
2 T. white or rice wine vinegar
3 bay leaves
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. ground paprika
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
4 c. cooked rice


Saute the chicken thighs over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat, cool to touch, then dice. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients EXCEPT chicken, ginger, celery and rice in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Add chicken, ginger and celery. Cover pot and simmer for 45 minutes.

To serve, spoon 1/2 cup cooked rice into each bowl and ladle soup over top. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

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