Happy hump day!
It’s my first day back at work today–vacation is officially over! And although it would always be nice to have a few more days of time off, I am ready to get back into the routine of things. Part of the routine is back to making large batches of something over the weekend to bring in as leftovers to get me through the week and what better way to do that than with soup!
This recipe is from one of my absolute favorite cookbooks, Love Soup by Anna Winter. It was cold and snowy most of the weekend (yay, snow!), so I wanted to make something warm, comforting, and maybe just a bit spicy. Her soups are so inspiring and unusual, though can be laborious with many steps and be costly with the plethora of ingredients and unusual spices.
Be warned–this soup is one of the spiciest I’ve ever had! We served it with white sharp cheddar, avocado, and tomato quesadillas on the side, and I ended up adding all of the leftover avocado into the soup to calm the spice a bit. In the book, Thomas recommends that the soup be served as a starter in small amounts, but I think that as long as you have a good carb to soak up the heat, it’s fine as a main course.
Originally, the soup calls for about 1.5 pounds of poblano peppers, but I could only find pasillas at our grocery store, and since they are a bit spicier, I only bought about a pound.
You start by broiling the peppers, turning occasionally, until they are nice and charred and then letting them sweat in a paper bag before removing the skin, membrane, and seeds and chopping into strips.
While the peppers are broiling, you saute 2 chopped onions in a generous amount of olive oil until translucent, then add garlic and continue cooking at a low heat until nice and brown.
Once the onions and garlic have browned, add vegetable broth, the peppers, a bit of cilantro, and a little salt. Let the ingredients simmer for about 20 minutes and then blend using an immersion blender, or regular blender in small batches if you don’t have one–which you should, I use mine all the time and love it!
Once the soup is pureed, stir in 4 ounces of luscious goat cheese and adjust the salt levels as you see fit.
We topped our soup with toasted pine nuts, as suggested, and a bit of avocado, but it would also be wonderful with fried tortilla strips or a bit more goat cheese or queso fresco, to cut the heat.
It was certainly one of the most unusual soups I’ve ever had, but once I found a way to manage the heat, it was wonderful!
Pasilla Pepper Soup
*Adapted from Love Soup by Anna Thomas
Serves 4, generously
6 pasilla peppers, about 1 pound
14oz low sodium vegetable broth
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
4oz goat cheese
salt, to taste
toasted pine nuts, avocado, goat cheese, tortilla strips, for garnish.
Place pasilla peppers in broiler and continue to turn occasionally until all sides are charred, about 15 minutes. Remove and place in a paper bag to sweat for 10 minutes then remove skins, seeds, and membranes, and cut into 1/2 inch strips.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large cast iron pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add garlic, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Once the onions are browned, add the broth, cilantro, and peppers. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes before blending with an immersion blender or in small batches in a regular blender.
Reduce heat back to low and stir in goat cheese until completely incorporated.
Top with toasted pine nuts, avocado, and any other desired garnish, and enjoy!
Time: 45 minutes