This is a flavourful, somewhat spicy, and quite healthy soup – a perfect storm for me.
I created this soup to use up some chicken stock and red peppers that I had in my fridge, as well as some fresh corn that a friend brought over. I’ve never made such a big batch of chicken stock, and ran out of room in my tiny freezer – this was a great way to use it up. It’s got roasted bell and poblano peppers, as well as a dried ancho chile pureed into the tomatoes – I think the anchos are what takes this recipe to the next level, and I will definitely use this strategy of adding flavour into recipes in the future.
This would be great topped with avocado, or cilantro, or some Mexican crumbling cheese. And a wedge of lime to squeeze in.
Just a word about the roasted peppers: I know that some people like to get rid of every trace of the skin by washing the peppers, but I like to keep little bits of the skin on. This way it reminds me of the amazing sauces I ate in Mexico. You always knew they were homemade and delicious if they had those flecks of black skin in them.
What you need:
- 1 dried ancho chile
- 1 – 398mL/14 oz fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper
- 1 poblano pepper
- olive oil
- 1/2 a large sweet onion, diced
- 1 chicken breast or 2 thighs (omit for vegetarians!)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 – 425 grams / 15 oz can of pinto beans, drained
- 2 ears of fresh corn (substitute with peaches and cream canned corn – I don’t personally like frozen)
- 4-6 cups chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth)
- Mexican crumbling cheese
- hot sauce for those who like it
What you do:
- Roast the peppers over a gas stove or barbecue, turning frequently with tongs until all the skin is charred and black. Place in a container fitted with a lid until it cools a bit, 10-15 minutes.
- Roast the dry ancho chile very briefly over the flame, then remove the stem and seeds. Add this to a blender along with the can of tomatoes. Puree until smooth.
- In a large pot over a medium flame drizzle in a little olive oil (I use less than 1 tablespoon). Add the onions and cook, stirring from time to time, for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes, but don’t let the garlic brown.
- Add the chicken, if you are using it, and let that cook for a few minutes before pouring in the broth and tomato/ancho mixture. Let this simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken and chop it up, then add it back to the soup.
- Meanwhile, remove the blackened skin from the peppers, then remove the stem and seeds. Chop the peppers, then add them to the soup.
- Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the soup. Cut the corn off the cobs and add that to the soup. Let this simmer for a few minutes, then season with salt and a little pepper to taste.
- Garnish with toppings of your choice.