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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Crema de Chile Soup

We just ate at one of my absolute favorite regional Mexican restaurants that is in a small town.  It is a gem.  Such restaurants are common in France (admittedly they are likely to be serving French food, but prepared by a talented chef).  My youngest, a hard to please eater, loved the soup, and so my spouse made a version of it now that we are back home.  It is really delicious, and can be made with a range of green chiles (poblanos are the norm but we made it with Hatch green chiles because we have ever so many of them).

  • 4 poblano chiles
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium white onion, thickly sliced
  • 1/4 head garlic, cloves separated and skins removed
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 sprigs epazote
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 ounce requesón or ricotta
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh crema
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • canola oil
  1. Place the poblanos over an open flame, turning often, until blackened on all sides. Transfer to a plastic bag and let steam for 15 minutes. Then peel the skin off, remove the stems and seeds, and cut into thin strips.
  2. Add the butter to a large pot set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are transparent. Then add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic. Toss in the sliced poblanos and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, the epazote, and the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Puree the mixture in a blender. Return to the pot and pour in the milk. Heat gently. Then remove a 1/2 cup and mix it with the requesón in a small bowl. Add this back to the soup. Taste for salt.
  5. Slice the tortillas into 1/2 inch thick strips. Pour a little canola oil into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add a few of the tortilla strips and cook for a few seconds on each side until crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining strips.
  6. Serve the soup with few few corn strips, some fresh corn kernals and some crema drizzled on top, or nothing if you so desire.

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