Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Poblano Potato Soup

In February I took a work road trip with three fun co-workers – our mission – to dine at Café Cental while in El Paso, Texas. Well, not exactly. Our mission was to hold an event at Cattleman’s Steakhouse in Fabens, Texas. It was simply a group consensus that we must fit in time to return to Café Central. It has a lovely and quaint interior with impeccable and some may say overbearing service.

The one dish that we all remembered and ordered right away was the Cream of Green Chile Soup. This is the soup that I dream of at night and I surely did think about that soup for days after having it for the second time in my life. What is in it that makes it so creamy and JUST spicy enough that you have to have another bite to try and satisfy the slow burn? Oh, it's good stuff ya'll and when I came home from that trip I searched the internet for the recipe but never found anything that sounded like it would give me the same silky and spicy soup I was craving to have again.

I finally decided to make an attempt, knowing from the get go that it wasn't the right recipe but hoping that a close second would curve the craving. I found this Poblano Purple Potato Soup recipe over at the bitchincamero.com blog and decided to give it a shot.

This is a picture of my NEW favorite thing in my kitchen. They are onion goggles, and one day I may show you what they look like ON me, but for now I will just let you picture me wearing them while I slice and dice onions. They really work! There is foam around the eyes to seal out any of the stinging chemicals that are released when you slice an onion.
Here are the ingredients and measurements that the original recipe calls for:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large poblano peppers, diced
1 lb. purple Idaho potatoes, unpeeled and diced (or same amount creamer or regular Idaho potatoes)
3 cups chicken stock
salt to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro, leaves and stems ok
1/2 cup plain yogurt (non-fat is ok, Greek-style is preferred)
4 slices of ham

I started with a little bit of olive oil in a deep stock pot.

Then added the diced onion. Pot should be hot at a medium high heat. Stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes while the onions soften.

These are my poblano peppers! (They were not very hot at all)

Once onions are soft, add garlic to the pot.

Chop up the chiles and add to the stock pot as well. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until the peppers just begin to soften.

This is what one pound of potatoes look like. I was so surprised it was only three potatoes!

Now that all the veggies are soft and I can see some brown bits on the bottom of the pot, I need to add the potatoes and stock.

Pour in the stock.

Give the potatoes a rough chop.

And add the potatoes to the stock and veggies.

Bring all of this to a simmering boil.

Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Meanwhile, I took the last five slices of peppered bacon from the fridge and baked them in the oven for 15 minutes. I put them on a metal rack on top of a sheet pan so the bacon doesn't cook in the grease.

The other topping we need to assemble is the olive oil and paprika. Simply combine them in a bowl or a little container.

I love this cilantro sour cream idea.

I simply put a handful of cilantro in this small blender with the sour cream and blended together.

This took less than 60 seconds, and it looks special and taste great. I can see using this little trick for a finishing sauce on enchiladas, or served on the side of quesadillas.

Now that the potatoes are all fork tender its time for the fun part!

I get to use my immersion blender that Jim bought me for Christmas. I really love this thing.

And there you go, soup!

Bacon is hot and crunchy, ready to be chopped up for topping.

All that is left to do now is assemble. Ladle the soup into bowls, then drizzle with the smoked paprika oil, add a dollop of cilantro sour cream and sprinkle with the bacon pieces.

I liked to add the toppings and then swirl them into my soup.

The addition of potato definitely made it a heartier soup than what we had in El Paso. I absolutely loved the combination of salty bacon, creamy cilantro sour cream that was cool and the warm paprika oil. In the future I would drop a jalapeno into the sauteing veggies - this soup needed more of a kick. Jim called and asked what all the little containers were in the fridge, I tried to explain to him how to assemble the soup himself, he sounded puzzled and wanted to know if it was okay to just eat the potato soup. Uggg.... it's just NOT the same without the toppings that add such flair!
I do have a very exciting update to make. I have FOUND the original recipe for Cream of Green Chile Soup. It's completely rich and luxurious! You have to give it a shot.


  1. This looks g-o-o--o-o-o-d!!!
    BTW: Love your onion goggles!

  2. Oh, I am insanely jealous! I've been admiring those onion goggles for months now. I think we need to see a picture of you modeling them! ;)

    The soup looks seriously good!


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