Friday, January 10, 2014

Soup's On: Poblano Chicken Chowder

This recipe came from my friend, Kirsten. Kirsten got the recipe from Paula Deen so you know it's good but maybe not very good for you. It's definitely heavy on the butter and cream, but hey, life is short and this is pure comfort on a cold, winter night. My kids love this soup and ask for it often.

Poblano Chicken Chowder
Serves 6-8

1/4 cup olive oil
3 large carrots, cut in 1/2 inch dice
1 large onion, cut in 1/2 inch dice
2 Tbsp minced garlic (I use the kind in a jar)
2-3 small poblano peppers, seeded and cut in 1/2 inch dice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper (if using black pepper, use 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp cumin
12 cups chicken broth
1/2 of a bunch of cilantro, chopped
3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
1 cup heavy cream

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot and add the carrots, onion, garlic, poblanos, salt, white pepper and cumin. Saute over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften.
Add the chicken broth and the chopped cilantro and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Add the chicken and simmer a bit longer until heated through.
Shortly before the chowder is done, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes to cook the flour. Do not allow the roux (butter/flour) to brown! Ladle 1 cup of the hot liquid from the stockpot into the skillet, whisking constantly.
When the first cup of liquid is incorporated, add another two cups of liquid--one at a time. Pour the thickened skillet mixture into the stockpot, whisking to blend. Cook, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes longer or until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove the stockpot from heat. Add hot sauce, if desired. Add cream. Stir well and serve.

My notes:
The recipe above has my modifications. The original recipe post is here. 
Poblano peppers are also called pasilla peppers. They're very mild and flavorful. This is not a spicy soup.
2 Tbsp sounds like a lot of garlic…and it is…but don't skimp.
If you've never tried white pepper, promise me you will! It gives amazing flavor to this soup. I absolutely love it and use it in everything. 
I typically cut the broth down to 8-10 cups and I also cut the butter down to 1/2 stick (4Tbsp) and 1/2 cup flour for the roux.
I've made this gluten-free by thickening with cornstarch instead. Instead of browning the cornstarch in butter, I mixed it with some soup liquid and then added to soup and let cook a bit to thicken. I just eyeball it…sorry I have no exact measurements.


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