Late winter in the Pacific Northwest is rough. The occasional dusting of snow isn’t cute anymore – it’s just annoying – and the cold, wet, windy and generally dreary days are getting old. Flowers haven’t started blooming, and it seems like winter might last a generation, Game of Thrones-style.
There are two remedies for this miserable weather: Pack up and head to Cancún, or make a big, steaming pot of soup. I would love to head to Mexico, but until then, I’ve got this soup. It’s a simple (and somewhat lighter) take on the classic French vichyssoise, with a Mexican twist.
This soup is cheap, easy and soooo comforting. Charred poblano peppers add an earthy flavor and a tiny bit of heat, and garnishes like bacon, crumbled queso fresco and fresh green onions really make the dish pop. This dish is proof that potatoes, bacon, cheese and onions of any type are a heavenly combination. Enjoy, and stay warm out there!
Potato Poblano Leek Soup
- 1 cup leeks, cleaned, dark green tops removed and remaining stalk sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, about 5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, whole
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 poblano pepper
- ½ cup whole milk
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- Cheese: queso fresco, white cheddar, parmesan…
- Green onions or chives
- Fresh herbs
- Hot sauce
- A drizzle of oil or cream
- Melt butter in large stockpot over low heat. Add leeks and a dash of salt. Cook about 7 minutes, until leeks are tender. Stir occasionally, taking care not to let them brown.
- Add potatoes, onions, garlic chicken stock and paprika.
- Bring to boil, then reduce to medium and cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.
- While potatoes are cooking, char poblano pepper over a low flame on your gas burner, or under your broiler in your oven. Turn the pepper regularly so all sides are charred evenly. Seal it in a plastic and allow to cool. (The pepper will steam, allowing the skin to come off more easily.)
- Once the pepper has cooled, rub the skin off, slice it open and remove the seeds. Dice the pepper.
- Using an immersion blender or a standing blender, puree soup until it’s smooth. Add milk and pepper (and more salt, if desired) and give it another couple pulses.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with the poblanos, as well as bacon, cheese and whatever else you want. This soup requires lots of garnishment.