There are few smells more familiar to me than the smell of fire-roasted chiles. When I was a child I can remember the sweet, burnt smell wafting through the commissary of our family restaurant while the sweet-faced. fleshy, elderly Hispanic cook I was tagging along with would roast heaps and heaps of green chiles. She would burn the skins to a crisp on all sides, throw them in a paper bag to “steam” and remove their skin under cool running water.
Sitting on a big metal countertop munching silently on whatever little snack the other cooks gave me, I knew the green chile routine meant even more good snacks to come – green corn tamales, cheese crisps with green chile strips and salsas bursting with flavor and heat. 20-odd years later I still follow the same routine roasting my chiles – burn, steam, peel (I detail this below as well). When the chile harvest is at the farmers market inevitably 2 or 3 pounds make it home with me for roasting and the first thing I want to make is Green Chile Potato soup.
Green Chile Potato soup is the perfect fall soup. Its creamy and filling while being spicy and exotic. I top it with whatever I have on hand at the moment. Some of my favorite toppings include quesadilla wedges. crumbled corn chips, spicy croutons, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sour cream, cheddar cheese and lime. I guarantee you in the icy months ahead you’ll look forward to coming home to a pot. Enjoy!
Green Chile Potato Soup
Active Time: 15 Minutes, Inactive Time: 30 Minutes; Serves: 4
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large potato, cubed small
6 whole canned green chiles, drained OR 6 whole fire-roasted chiles, skins and seeds removed and sliced into 1/4 inch slices **
3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Lime wedges, shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or tortilla chips for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot. Add cumin seeds and fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add onion and garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes, until onions are slightly browned and translucent. Add potatoes and fry another 2 minutes. Add green chile and corn to the pot and saute 1 minute, then add broth. Bring up to boil, turn down to medium, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove lid, add salt and pepper to taste add cilantro. Stir in yogurt.* Serve immediately with any combo of ingredients. Enjoy!
* If you want a creamier soup, you can remove half the soup and blend with an immersion blender, adding back reserved soup before serving.
To Roast Chiles
6 Anaheim or Pasilla peppers
Over a gas range or gas/charcoal grill, char each pepper on all sides until the chiles are popping and the skin is black. While the chiles are still hot, place in a paper bag and roll at the top to seal. Leave for 20 minutes. Under cool running water, peel off skin and remove seeds and stems. Use immediately or pat dry and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for 6 months.