Here’s an update to the site’s most debated recipe! The original Poblano Soup has divided the world into two: those who love it, and those who think it’s way too spicy.
This version is vegan, gluten-free, and the addition of corn dilutes the heat a little bit. I hope these adjustments get the other half to crave this soup as much as I do 🙂
How To Make Poblano Corn Soup
Poblano chiles are mild by nature, but when you use a bunch of them the heat can really add up! Exactly how spicy are Poblanos?
These Poblanos were larger so I only used 4 of them — when they are smaller I tend to use 5-6 of them.
And of course, you’ll get a massive bump in flavor if you roast these beauties first.
I default to the oven as that is the easiest, but you can also roast them over an open flame or stick ’em under the broiler. Here’s how this batch looked after 30 minutes in the oven (400F):
See all those puffy bits of skin? You can pull off any dangling bits, but don’t worry about getting rid of all of it — the skin doesn’t affect the flavor and since we’re blending these Poblanos it won’t affect the texture either.
Once you get the Poblanos in the oven you can start building the rest of the soup.
Start by cooking a roughly chopped onion and 4 garlic cloves in some oil over medium heat.
I usually just leave the garlic cloves whole as all of this will be blended together.
For this batch I used 1/2 potato to thicken up the soup, but you are welcome to use your preferred thickener, with a few tablespoons of flour being a common option.
Once the onion was starting to brown I added the cubed 1/2 potato and let it cook for a few minutes:
And then I added the rest of the ingredients:
4 cups stock
the roasted Poblanos, de-seeded and de-stemmed
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Bring this up to a simmer and let it cook until the potatoes are softened — that was about 10 minutes for this batch.
Add the mixture to a blender and give it a good whirl. Be sure to use caution when blending hot liquids.
Return the soup to the pan and add the corn.
I also added another pinch of Mexican oregano and cumin to this batch.
And that is plain ol’ canned corn in the pic above — you’ll get loads of flavor from the roasted Poblanos, so canned corn will do the job just fine when fresh isn’t available.
Be sure to give a final taste for seasoning as the amount of salt you’ll need will vary depending on which stock you use.
I used this homemade Vegetable Stock that has no sodium, so I had to add a bit more salt to this batch.
I’m also in the habit of adding some finely diced cilantro stems to this soup.
Texture-wise the crunch of the stems works better than the leaves, so it’s worth a go if you’ve never tried it before.
And don’t forget to add a final burst of acidity right before serving! A squeeze of lime or a few drops of hot sauce will do the job quite well.
Okay I hope this version inspires some of you to give it a try. Freshly roasted Poblanos have tremendous flavor and this soup takes full advantage of that!
Poblano Corn Soup
- 4-5 Poblano chile peppers
- 2 cups corn (or 1 can)
- 1 onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 potato
- 4 cups stock
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- squeeze of lime (optional)
- freshly chopped cilantro stems (optional)
- Rinse the poblanos and roast them in the oven at 400F. Give them a flip after 15 minutes. They'll be mostly roasted in another 10-15 minutes, so 25-30 minutes total roasting time in the oven. Once the roasted poblanos have cooled a bit, pull off and discard as much skin as you can but don't worry about getting rid of all of it. Then de-stem and de-seed the poblanos.
- As the poblanos roast you can start building the rest of the soup. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Roughly chop an onion and add it to the saucepan along with 4 whole, peeled garlic cloves.
- Once the onion is starting to brown you can add the cubed 1/2 potato, letting it cook for a couple minutes. Note that the potato is used to thicken up the soup, but you are welcome to use your preferred thickener instead.
- Once the potato has cooked for a bit you can add the following ingredients: 4 cups stock, 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and the de-stemmed and de-seeded roasted Poblanos.
- Bring this up to temp and let it simmer until the potatoes are softened -- that was about 10 minutes for this batch.
- Add the mixture to a blender and combine well. Be sure to use caution when blending hot liquids -- I typically hold a paper towel over any openings to prevent a geyser.
- Return the soup to the saucepan and add the corn. I used a single can of corn for this batch, drained and rinsed. Combine well and take a final taste for seasoning. I added additional pinches of Mexican oregano, cumin, and salt to this batch, but keep in mind the salt level will depend on which stock you use.
- Serve immediately but don't forget to garnish! A final burst of acidity really brightens up this soup, with a squeeze of lime or a few drops of hot sauce being good options. I also added some freshly diced cilantro stems to this batch.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.