Crema de Cilantro
This is a very rich yet delicately flavored cilantro cream soup. Why do we say it’s rich? Because, you use heavy Mexican cream not corn starch to thicken the soup.
The texture is silky, not gummy like soups thickened with corn starch. Raw cilantro has a sharp herbal taste, which many people don’t care for, but when you simmer it the flavor softens and becomes more sophisticated. Serve this soup on a special occasion.
Cream soups show the influence of French cuisine on Mexican cooking. Throughout the mid to late 1800’s French cuisine and French cooking techniques were popular with the sophisticated elite. This popularity continued well into the late 1900’s. You can find out more about the French influence on Mexican cuisine here.
Let’s Make Some Soup
First, start by gathering all of the ingredients for your soup: cilantro, onion, garlic, cream, and low sodium chicken broth.
Time to Cook
Roughly chop the onions and garlic and fry them in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until they start to soften and turn translucent.
Add the bunch of cilantro and sauté over medium heat until the cilantro has wilted.
Once the cilantro has wilted add 1 cup of water and the black pepper to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
Blend and Strain
Blend the sauteed onions, garlic, and cilantro and cooking liquid with 2 cups of water until smooth, about 1 minute.
Strain the mixture into a mixing bowl. Press firmly on the pulp to extract as much flavor as possible.
Do you prefer rustic style soups? Straining the mixture gives the soup a very smooth texture. Just omit the straining step if prefer rustic-style soup. The taste will be just as good.
Incorporate the Soup Base Into the Cream
Incorporating the blended soup base into the cream is an important step. Allow the cream to come to room temperature and allow the blended soup base to cool for 10 minutes before adding to the cream. You need to introduce the base very slowly into the cream so that it doesn’t form lumps.
Put the cream in a large mixing bowl then start adding a few tablespoons of soup base at a time into the cream and gently stir to incorporate.
Continue adding a few tablespoons of base at a time while continually stirring.
Once you have added all of the soup base add 2 cups of water and stir for 30 seconds to ensure that all of the soup base and water are incorporated into the cream and there are no lumps in the cream.
Finishing the Soup
Warm 1 cup of chicken broth in a pot but don’t bring the broth to a boil because if the broth is boiling, the cream will clump when you pour the mixture into it. Slowly pour the soup base into the broth.
Add all of the soup base to the broth and stir well.
Very gently simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Over this time the soup will thicken and become silky. Do not allow it to come to a boil or the soup may clump.
Serve and Enjoy
This cilantro cream soup is best served immediately and we recommend serving it as an appetizer because it is so rich. If you serve it as the main course it is just too much of a good thing. Sometimes you really can have too much of a good thing.
One final note: If for some reason your soup has clumps in it even after following the directions to a T. Don’t worry. Strain it one final time before serving and you will have a beautiful silky smooth soup and no one will ever know.
Cream of Cilantro Soup
- 1 large bunch cilantro
- ½ white onion
- 1 clove garlic
- ¾ cup Mexican cream not sour cream
- 1 cup low salt chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. cooking oil
- Add the bunch of cilantro and sauté over medium heat until the cilantro has wilted.
- Add 2 cups of water and black pepper to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Allow the cream to come to room temperature and allow the blended cilantro base to cool for 10 minutes before adding to the cream.
- Add a few tablespoons of soup base into the cream and gently stir to incorporate.
- Continue adding a few tablespoons of base at a time while continually stirring.
- Warm 1 cup of chicken broth in a pot but don't bring the broth to a boil because if the broth is boiling the cream will clump when you pour the mixture into it. Slowly pour the soup base into the broth.
- Very gently simmer the soup for about 15 minutes. Over this time the soup will thicken. Do not allow it to come to a boil or the soup may clump.
- Serve immediately.
- You can substitute ½ teaspoon of chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 cup of warm water for the chicken broth.
- If your soup clumps don’t worry. Strain it one final time before serving and you will have a silky smooth soup.