You're trying to come up with an idea for dinner. The temperatures have climbed to triple digits again. The first thing that comes to mind is... hot soup?? Unconventional, yes, but that's exactly what I wanted. Not just any soup. I wanted a soup that I have had at a local Mexican restaurant several times. It's a poblano cream soup. The color is beautiful with a flavor to match.
To find a suitable recipe, I went to my favorite treasure trove of gastronomic concoctions - Epicurious.com. That site rarely fails me. And it didn't today, either. I loved the idea of roasting the poblanos first. Roasting or charring gives a wonderful lightly smokey flavor.
Now the problem with the poblano pepper is its inconsistent heat factor. These chilies can be pleasantly mild or spicier than a 15-year-old boy's mind. Mine turned out to be a bit on the fiery side. To combat the heat, I added a bit of sugar and a dollop or two of sour cream. It was perfect. Keep that in mind in case you end up with a wicked poblano or two in your bunch!
Roasted Poblano-Cream Soup
Bon Appétit | February 2001
Yield: Makes 6 servings
1-1/2 pounds poblano chilies*
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1-1/2 cups chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup (or more) whipping cream
*Fresh green chilies, often called pasillas, available at Latin American markets and some supermarkets
Char chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag. Let stand 10 minutes to steam. Peel, seed and chop poblano chilies.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add chilies and sauté 1 minute. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until chilies are very tender, about 10 minutes. Mix in cilantro, parsley and mint. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in 1/4 cup cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more cream if soup is very spicy. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill. Bring to simmer before serving.)