The most widely used Mexican chile is the large poblano, which has a distinctive, slightly fruity flavor and a touch of heat. This hearty vegetarian soup balances the chile with sweet corn, thick crema and cheese, and the sautéed mushroom garnish adds even more flavor. Farmers’ cheese is a crumbly, fresh form of cottage cheese from which most of the liquid has been removed. Usually sold in a fairly solid loaf shape, it is mild and slightly tangy. If you can’t find it, Muenster cheese makes a nice alternative.
Creamy Poblano Chile Soup with Corn and Mushrooms
- 1 Tbs. safflower or canola oil
- 1 white onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 cups (12 oz./375 g) fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 3 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, and seeded, then coarsely chopped
- 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 L) chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 8 oz. (250 g) fresh chanterelle, cremini or other flavorful mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) crema or sour cream, thinned with whole milk
- 3 oz. (90 g) Muenster cheese or farmers’ cheese, at room temperature, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) cubes or crumbled
1. In a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-low heat, warm the safflower oil. Add the onion and sauté until golden and soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Raise the heat to medium and add half of the corn, half of the chiles and 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) of the stock. Bring to a simmer, stir in the oregano and cook, uncovered, until the corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
2. Ladle the corn mixture into a blender with 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the stock and process until smooth. Pass the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve back into the pot. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) stock and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
3. While the soup is heating, in a fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the remaining chiles, the remaining corn and the mushrooms and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid and their liquid evaporates, about 8 minutes (or longer if you are using cremini).
4. Add the mushroom mixture and the crema to the soup, stir well, cover and simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Bring a true taste of Mexico to your table with our collection of authentic dishes in Rustic Mexican, by Deborah Schneider.