It is cold out.
In fact, according to our personal weatherman, Ross, it is currently 20 degrees outside. To me, that means it is perfect soup weather. So, dinner tonight was a nice big bowl of hot, spicy, potato-y soup.
The recipe for this soup came from a cookbook I got a few Christmases ago from my grandparents along with my stock pot, which is easily the most used item in my kitchen. The cookbook is “Vegetable Soups” by Deborah Madison. It has long been one of my go-to cookbooks, because of my unshakable love for soups. It was only recently, though, that I found out Deborah Madison has been described as “America’s favorite vegetarian chef.” Which is especially interesting to me since I have decided this year to return to vegetarianism.
It won’t be a very big transition since I rarely cook with meat and was a vegetarian for quite a few years beginning when I was a teenager. In fact, my vegetarianism may have been my parents’ first clue that I was a little “left of normal” but, you’d have to confirm that with them. I may have shown tendencies even before refusing to eat meat.
Mr. Moore, while happy to eat my strictly vegetarian cooking, will still indulge in some carnivorous meals from time to time. It’s a good thing, too, because I still have some portions of pulled pork I made in the freezer for a rainy day, and it would be such a shame for them to go to waste.
Anyway, this was all a very long introduction to a soup that could easy be enjoyed by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike on a cold winter’s night such as this one. (please note that the temperature has dropped one more degree since I began writing this…)
Potato and Green Chile Stew
- 6 poblano chiles (I only used 3, because they were huge and thank goodness, because this soup was still “burn your chapped lips” spicy)
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lg onion
- 2 lbs potatoes
- 1 lg garlic clove
- salt & pepper
- 6 cups water (non-veggies can use Chix stock)
- small bunch fresh cilantro
- 1/2 c sour cream (I used greek yogurt with a little salt mixed into it)
- Roast the chiles directly over a flame or under your broiler until the skins are bubbly. Set aside in a covered bowl.
- Peel and chunk the potatoes and onion.
- Toast the coriander seeds in a dry skillet over med heat until fragrant, cool and grind in a spice mill. (I used a nice little mortar and pestle I got for Christmas!)
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot, add onions, potatoes and coriander, cook, stirring occasionally about 8 minutes.
- Between stirs, slip the skins off the chiles, cut out the seeds and chop into large pieces.
- Add chiles and garlic to the pot along with 1 tsp salt and the liquid.
- Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes.
- Make sure you taste for salt & pepper before you serve.
This soup (or stew if you prefer) is best served with a nice dollop of cilantro sour cream. To make that, blanch your cilantro, chop it finely and stir into your sour cream.
If you prefer a thicker soup, you can mash some of the potatoes right in the pot before stirring.
Served with a nice loaf of homemade bread, this is definitely hearty enough for dinner. Mr. Moore gave it an enthusiastic rating of “lick-the-bowl good.”
(If you made it to the end of this post… I’d like you to know it’s dropped another degree outside… to 18 degrees… brrrrrrrrr)