Green Chile Potato Soup
Green Chile Potato Soup is a magical soup. It’s rich and creamy, but still studded with enough chile flavor to kick it up a notch. If I fed it to you blindfolded you would almost certainly think there there is a pound of cheddar cheese in it. It has an amazingly creamy texture and it just feels like you are eating a very rich cheddar soup.
The truth is that it’s mostly potatoes with just a touch of cream to round out the flavors.
The Hatch peppers were added almost accidentally. While I was shopping for this recipe, I just happened to walk by one of those large chile pepper roasters in the parking lot of my grocery store.
It’s pretty much a rule that I can’t walk by one of those roasters without buying a huge container of roasted chiles and so some of them were destined for this soup.
Even though it was still in the 80s when I made this soup, Betsy and I had no problem eating full bowls of it. It’s just that good. As the weather cools off though, this Green Chile Potato Soup really is a meal that you have to try.
1) Prepare all your ingredients: chopping onions, carrots, celery, potatoes. Also, scrape out the seeds from the roasted chiles and chop them up roughly.
2) In a large, heavy pot, add butter over medium heat. Once melted, add onions, celery, carrots, and chiles. Cook for 4-5 minutes until they start to soften. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
3) Add potatoes to the pot and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes. Potatoes shouldn’t be cooked all the way at this point.
4) Stir in flour and cook for a minute or two to cook out flour taste. Then add vegetable stock and bring to a light simmer. Stir the soup to make sure stuff isn’t sticking to the bottom, cover the pot and let simmer for 10 minutes until potatoes are tender.
5) Add milk, cream, and chili powder to the soup.
6) Working in batches, ladle out some of the soup and add it to a blender. Blend until smooth (be very careful blending hot liquid. It’s best to let it cool slightly before blending and never fill your blender more than 2/3 full). Blend most of the soup but leave some of it unblended for texture.
7) Return the blended soup to the pot and season the soup to your liking with salt and pepper.
Serve serve while hot with fresh chives and extra chopped chiles on top.
Green Chile Potato Soup
A Classic Soup Base
A good rule with soups is that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Starting with a solid base of onion, carrot, celery, and garlic means your soup will have a classically delicious starting point.
As far as the chiles go, you have some options.
If you live in an area where you can get Hatch chiles, just use those! They are perfect in this Green Chile Potato Soup recipe. If you can’t find any though, no worries. I would just use a small can (3-4 oz.) of roasted green chiles from the grocery store. That would work just fine too.
Since most of this soup is going to be blended, you don’t have to be super anal with your chopping. Just get the ingredients in roughly even pieces so they cook evenly.
For the potatoes, I would shoot for about 1/4 inch cubes.
Cooking the Soup
This is just a great hearty soup and is really fun to make. Once you have your veggies chopped, the hard part is honestly over.
Start the soup with some butter in a large pot. Melt the butter over medium heat and then add the onion, carrots, celery, chiles, and garlic. Season this mixture with some salt and pepper and cook it down for a few minutes.
Then add the potatoes and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes. The potatoes won’t be really cooked at this point. You just want the flavors to mingle nicely.
Next, add a few tablespoons of flour which will act as a thickening agent for the soup. Stir the flour into the veggies and continue to cook them for 1-2 minutes to cook out any flour taste.
Next, add the vegetable stock to the soup and bring it to a simmer. Give the soup a good stir to make sure it isn’t sticking to the pot. Then cover it and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are really tender.
Add the milk and cream very last. If you can, try to use 2% or whole milk to make the soup nice and rich. Skim milk would totally work though as well if that’s all you have.
Blending the Soup
While you could serve this soup rustic, I really like to blend most but not all of it. I actually recommend using an old school blender for this and not an immersion blender. If you use an immersion blender, you’ll end up blending the whole thing basically.
By doing it in batches in a normal blender, you can more easily control how much is blended and leave some of the soup unblended for texture.
A few reminders on blending soups:
– It’s best to let the soup cool a bit before blending it.
– Don’t ever fill the blender more than 2/3 full when blending hot stuff.
– Don’t just crank the blender on high. Start by pulsing it really slowly and then slowly increase the speed.
I didn’t really measure, but I would eyeball it and try to blend about 3/4 of the soup. That leaves just enough for some nice texture. Also, by blending the potatoes it brings out their starchiness and makes the soup thicker!
When the Green Chile Potato Soup is texture you want, season it well with salt and pepper.
Serve this stuff up in a big bowl garnished with extra chiles and chives.
I’m not even kidding that it tastes like there is cheese in it.
It’s an amazing soup and just got me even more excited for fall!