Cheesy Poblano Pepper Chowder

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Poblano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 russet potatoes, roasted and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cumin
  • 1 cup of shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of diced, roasted chicken breast
  • 1 ear of steamed corn
  • 1 15-oz. can of black beans or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • Shredded cheese and Tortilla chips or strips, for topping

Preheat the broiler, setting the oven rack 6-8 inches from the heat.  Place the poblano peppers on a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil.  Place this under the broiler, checking and turning until the skin is blackened slightly on all sides, about five minutes.  Remove the peppers to a paper bag, rolling the top closed.  Set this aside 15 minutes to allow the peppers to “sweat”.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, stirring until golden.  Remove these from heat, and place in a blender (I use a Vitamix), along with the chicken broth.

Add the potatoes, cumin, and shredded cheese to the blender and affix the lid.  Set to Variable 1 and start, increasing the Variable speed gradually to 10.  Allow to run for four to five minutes until steaming.  (Those of you who aren’t using a Vitamix may want to pour the pureed mixture into a pan to heat on the stove.)

Meanwhile, back to the poblano peppers.  After “sweating”, the skin will peel off easily.  Remove the stem and the seeds as well.  Do yourself a favor and DON’T remove the skin under a running faucet; you will be removing flavor!

Cut the kernels off the ear of steamed corn.

Add the chicken breast, poblano peppers, corn, and black beans to the blender.  Set the Vitamix to Variable 1 and pulse four or five times until mixed.  (I made the mistake of “running” the Vitamix once to mix in corn and tortilla chips to a chowder…it emulsified them into the mixture!  So if you want some texture to the soup, pulse!)

Taste, and add salt and pepper as you see fit.

Pour into bowls and garnish with shredded cheese and tortilla strips.  Enjoy!

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