|Chipilin: A Legume from Sothern Mexico and Central America|
I was trolling through the market a few weeks back and I saw some mangy looking plants with leaves similar to peanuts, but they were in too sad a shape to bring back to the restaurant. And they were not labeled. I saw a guy with some in his basket, so I asked him what they were and what they were used for. Alas, he spoke no English, but still I managed to learn that they were called chipilin and were used in chicken soup.
I finally found a beautiful bunch that I brought home with me to check out. It turns out that I was right in thinking peanuts; chipilin is a perennial legume of the Crotalaria genus. We checked it out raw, quickly stir-fried with garlic, and boiled as a pot herb. The color is beautiful and we could see where it could add greatly to the presentation of caldo de pollo, but the flavor just isn't there. It is a very neutral and fairly boring green leafy vegetable.
Vote: a very pretty leafy green but extremely uninteresting in flavor. Give me spinach or pea shoots!