The desert southwest is my spirit animal. I grew up ogling Arizona Highways magazines, and it’s really no surprise to anyone who knows me that I ended up out here in the Valley of the Sun. Southwestern flavors are part of the package I adore- bright, bold, smoky, complex, and savory. This roasted poblano soup checks all those amazing boxes!
This soup is so easy and versatile it’s nearly impossible to mess up. It accompanies leftover meats of all kinds like they were soulmates and can be thinned or thickened to your preference. You can also take the spice factor anywhere from mild to mouth-burning.
This earthy soup starts with a nose tingling pepper broil. At very high heat, the poblano skin will blister and blacken, imparting a smoky bite. Underneath, the flesh of the pepper softens dramatically, releasing singeing, spicy juices and a peppery incense that will waft wonderfully over your kitchen.
The softened poblanos are a cinch to blend and with the addition of a few other ingredients, they craft a sippable soup perfect for cooler days or stuffy noses.
Want a thicker soup? Whisk in some cream cheese. Want to annihilate your taste buds? Sauté diced jalapeños with the onions, or stir in some cayenne. A little bit of acidity will also help brighten the soup, so whether that’s pico de gallo drenched in fresh lime juice or a splash of vinegar, be sure to find your favorite way to add a touch of acid.
Plus, poblano soup pops in these little terracotta cazuelas! Now if that doesn’t scratch your southwestern itch, I don’t know what will.
Roasted Poblano Soup
- 6 poblano peppers
- 1/2 small onion small diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- kosher salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 cups broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces Monterrey jack cheese shredded
On an open grill or on a foil lined sheet placed fairly close to the top of the oven broiler, char the poblano skins on all sides. It should just take a few minutes per side- watch them carefully so they don't burn!
Place the charred poblanos into a bowl, cover with foil or plastic wrap and let sit in the steam for about 10 minutes undisturbed or until cooled enough to handle.
Remove the papery poblano skins by hand and with the blunt side of a butter knife, remove as many seeds as possible from the poblano flesh (food service gloves are recommended!).
Then, take the poblano flesh and puree them in a blender or food processor, adding a splash of broth if needed.
With a little bit of vegetable oil, sauté the onions in a 1.75-quart or larger saucepan over medium-high heat for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Add garlic last to avoid burning, then season with salt, cumin, and paprika.
Turning the heat down a bit, stir in the poblano puree, broth, heavy cream, and salt to taste. Add the shredded cheese by the handful and stir until you've reached your desired consistency. For an even smoother consistency, use an immersion blender. Taste for seasonings, and serve with broiled pulled pork, pico de gallo, or Mexican crema.
++Whatever strikes your fancy! Add diced jalapeño or serrano peppers to the sauté, or try ground chipotle, adobo seasoning, cayenne, roasted corn, shredded meat, or any other flavors you like!
++Yummy toppings include carnitas, grilled shrimp, carne asada, chopped cilantro, roasted pepitas, cotija cheese, pico de gallo, Mexican crema, pickled jalapenos, or crispy, seasoned tortilla strips.