Monday, May 21, 2012

Chile Poblano and Roasted Garlic Soup

All I'm saying is pretty baby. La la la love you, don't mean maybe.
Yes, I'm pretty sure David Lovering was singing this song about my soup:
And now you can sing it too.

Roasted poblano chiles and garlic, enough said. Two of my favorite ingredients fall in love, procreate and deliver this nutty, mellow, sweet and smoky soup.

Poblano chiles are used in a great variety of dishes back home; they are most likely known for their stuffed version in the rest of the world. The darker their colour, the richer their flavour. They are sweet and mild though unpredictable as the odd one can pack a punch. It's like a game of chile roulette.

Essentially we want to soften the flesh, enhance the flavour and peel the pesky outer skin.
This can be done by blistering them over a high flame on a gas range stove or bbq. An oven works fine too. Since we are roasting garlic, we might as well do them in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 400F. Toss 4 poblano chiles in a bit of olive oil, put them on a tray and in the oven. Make sure to flip them so they blister evenly throughout.
After 20 minutes or so, they should look like this:

It is important to immediately put the chiles in a plastic bag or in a bowl with a towel on top for 15 minutes. This will sweat the chiles and make your life easier when it's time to peel them.

We should also prep our garlic beforehand so we can toss them in the oven as soon as its preheated. They can take up to an hour to roast, but oh deary, it is so worth it.
We need 3 heads of garlic for the recipe. If you have more hanging around feel free to roast extra and use them for a million and one other things in the following days. They make excellent Bar Mitzvah gifts.

This is quick and simple:
Peel excess skin of the bulb, leaving cloves intact.
Cut around a 1/4 inch of the top of the bulb as to expose each clove.
Drizzle olive oil over exposed cloves in a generous fashion.
Wrap in aluminum and in the oven.
Invite your friends over to smell the enchanting scents of garlic roasting in your kitchen.

I discovered a very practical and aluminum paper-saving way to roast larger quantities of garlic bulbs on-line. Put them in a muffin tray, drizze oil and use just a little aluminum to cover the top. Will wonders never cease?

Remove from oven when they have a beautiful golden hue. Though you will have to fight through a great ordeal of temptation, allow your vampire-killing muffins to cool before you handle them.

While they cool give your chile poblanos a facial and peel them.
Discard stem and seeds.
Separate 6 slices for garnish.
Coarsely chop the rest of the chiles.
Toss the slices in EVOO, white wine vinegar, and sea salt.
Leave to marinate while you finish the dish.

In a pot with a little knob of butter, sweat a large finely diced shallot. Once translucent, add the chopped chiles and sweat 5 minutes further.
Add chicken or veggie stock. Just enough to cover the chiles and shallots.
Simmer for 15 minutes.

In a blender add all ingredients including the roasted garlic plus the zest of half of a lime.
The zest is important; it will add a needed bright note to the soup.
I don't have a functional blender so I used a food processor. Liquid spills in food processors.
Here is the gratuitous blender shot, I know this is the real reason you visit the blog:

Once blitzed, transfer to a pot and simmer.
Add more stock if you think the soup is too thick.
Adjust salt-n-peppa to taste.

Before serving, you can stir in 1 Tbsp of heavy cream. Your soup will have a richer consistency and a velvety finish. Ladle onto your bowl and garnish with your marinated poblano chile slices. Sprinkle some toasted sunflower seeds as they will add a nice bite.
Drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and you're done!

You will la la la love this soup and at the very least convert your enemies into frenemies.


  1. The muffin tins for roasted garlic is such a brilliant idea, and toasted sesame seeds are both a beautiful garnish and a huge flavour complement. Nice for texture too.

  2. i love the "vampire-killing muffins" idea too!
    and this soup looks DELICIOUS and vegan-friendly! hurrah!