Caldo Verde de Cajamarca

Caldo Verde de Cajamarca

David Loftus

Cajamarca’s Green Soup. I drove over bumpy dirt roads, through torrential rain and along steep precipices for eight hours to try this soup in the historic city of Cajamarca. Although it is traditionally made with paico and ruda herbs, which are native to the Peruvian Andes, you can use parsley and pak choi. The egg and cheese provide protein, making it a filling main course.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
A large bunch paico leaves
or a small bunch parsley
a small bunch mint
a small bunch huacatay
or a small bunch coriander
a few tarragon sprigs
1/2 head a small green cabbage
or 4 heads pak choi
4 potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
4-6 eggs, separated
200g queso fresco or feta, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or casserole. Add the onion and sauté over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1–2 minutes to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, put all the herbs in a blender with a little water and blitz to a smooth paste.
  3. When the onion and garlic are ready, add half the herb paste to the pan with the onion mixture, along with the cabbage or pak choi and the potatoes. Stir to combine, then pour in 1.5 litres of water and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring the soup to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes until the potatoes are very tender. Remove the casserole from the heat and spoon off 2 ladlefuls of stock into a small saucepan over a low heat. Whisk up the egg whites a little and swirl into the casserole of hot soup, then stir in the remaining herb paste and keep warm. Carefully drop the egg yolks into the small saucepan of broth and allow them to poach gently for 2 minutes until warmed through but still runny. Serve up the soup in individual bowls, carefully adding a poached yolk to each bowl (1 yolk per person) and sprinkle with the crumbled cheese.


  • If it feels too fussy to separate and poach the yolks in this way, you can omit the steps of adding the whites and separating off some stock and instead crack whole eggs into the soup, poaching them directly in the casserole. Serve up 1 whole egg per person.
Martin Morales
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