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Chicken and Poblano Soup

Serves 4

A flavorful stock is the base for this smoky pepper, chicken and potato soup. Make a second batch and freeze it for another night’s meal!


For the poached chicken:

  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 2 ribs celery, quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lime, sliced

For the soup:

  • 6 large poblano peppers
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 large starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed (1 1/2-2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 ears corn on the cob or 1 cup defrosted kernels
  • 1 Fresno or jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 palmful ground coriander (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 palmful ground cumin (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garnishes: lime wedges, unsalted lightly crushed blue corn tortilla chips, freshly chopped cilantro (optional)


  1. In large soup pot, cover the chicken and poaching ingredients with about 2 1/2-3 quarts water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer and poach for 1 hour. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate to cool. Peel and remove the bones from the chicken and slice the breast meat. Strain the poaching liquid and reserve.
  2. Pre-heat the broiler. Place the poblano and red bell peppers on a baking sheet and char evenly to blacken the skins all over – leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape. Place the peppers in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam the peppers and loosen the flesh from the skin.
  3. In a small pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook the potatoes until very soft. Drain the potatoes and mash with some of the reserved poaching liquid until very smooth.
  4. Peel and seed the peppers. Dice the red bell pepper and coarsely chop the poblanos. Add the peppers to a food processor and puree with a little stock until smooth. Stir the pepper puree into the potatoes until very smooth and well-combined.
  5. In the poaching pot, heat the EVOO. Add the corn, garlic, Fresno pepper or jalapeño pepper, if using, coriander and cumin and stir for a few minutes over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and thin the soup to your desired consistency with the reserved poaching liquid. Add the chicken and cook to warm the meat through.
  6. Serve the soup in bowls topped with cilantro for garnish, if desired, along with wedges of lime to squeeze over top and tortilla chips alongside.