January typically leaves me feeling a bit uninspired on the dinner front. I’m kind of at that point where I regularly daydream about our garden – how I’ll be able to walk to the backyard to grab handfuls of herbs and let Clara eat tomatoes right off the vine. I enjoy eating hearty and comforting winter foods, but we simply can’t eat those types of meals every night. So the longing for warmer weather begins, and I start getting antsy for all the projects I’m hoping we can tackle once spring arrives. For now, I’ll enjoy the cold weather by showing Clara things like how ice forms, and then I’ll warm us up with soup and hot chocolate.
Soup is always a good choice for this time of year, and this one is especially good. It’s similar to one of my winter favorites, this garlic potato soup, but with a Tex-Mex spin. It’s creamy and comforting, just what we need on those cold nights. This soup is fairly spicy, but we toned Clara’s down with a spoonful of yogurt. The smokiness is what really comes through; those roasted peppers really up the game on standard potato soup. I followed Kelsey’s lead with the addition of black beans because those are still one of Clara’s favorite foods, and I liked the texture they added. This one was a big hit, so much so that we made it twice in just over two weeks. We’ve still got a few months before spring arrives, and I’m glad to have recipes like this one to get us through the rest of winter.
- YIELD: 8 servings
3-4 poblano peppers
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable broth
½ teaspoon cumin
2 cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Monterey Jack cheese, for serving
Roast the jalapeños and poblanos under a broiler (or over a gas flame on your stovetop) for about five minutes per side, or until completely blackened. Wrap the poblanos in foil or place in a bag to steam until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, remove stems from the jalapeños and dice, discarding or keeping seeds depending on spice preference. Once the poblanos are cool enough to touch, remove the stems and peel the skin before dicing.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 8-10 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add the peppers, potatoes, broth, cilantro, cumin, and salt and pepper.
Bring to a full boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Scoop out 2 cups of the soup and set aside. Remove the pot from the heat, then use an immersion blender to puree the rest of the soup. Alternately, you can work in batches and do this in a blender or food processor. Add the reserved soup back to the pot, along with the milk, cream and black beans.
Heat the soup over medium heat until it comes back to serving temperature. Top with cheese and cilantro.