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Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup

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Light, creamy chicken poblano soup is chock full of veggies, chicken broth, and loaded with flavor. A naturally gluten free, low carb soup that will have your mouth screaming for more!

I was scrapbooking with some friends not long ago and my friend served us this amazing soup for lunch! Oh it might look heavy, but it is the lightest cream soup ever! I couldn’t get enough of the light and flavorful broth.

If you are a soup lover, like me and our readers, you will enjoy this Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup, Cauliflower Soup (30 minutes) and Italian Wedding Soup.

Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup in a black bowl with a black spoon on a wooden tray with tortilla chips and radishes in the background.

Soup is like a warm hug and honestly I’ll take a warm hug any day; warm or chilly! While this soup is spectacular in the winter, it is going to become a favorite of mine into the spring because of how very light it is!

Is this soup Spicy?

  • This Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup is NOT spicy!
  • As a self-proclaimed spice wimp, that is always my first question! Poblano Peppers? Yikes, it’s going to burn my mouth. But Poblano peppers are mild, flavorful and amazingly delicious!
  • If you love spicy, keep some seeds in, that will increase the heat significantly!
Black spoon with bite of Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup with black bowl in background filled with creamy soup

Can I Swap Poblano Peppers for Other Peppers?

Yes! Anaheim chili’s are the best and closest pepper to swap for Poblano peppers, I also believe that Hatch chili’s would work as well.

I was hitting my 4th store to find Poblano peppers, when I was resigned to just make this recipe using Anaheim peppers and to my surprise, the last store I visited had Poblano’s!

Anaheim peppers have a bit more kick, so if you are spice sensitive, make sure you clean those seeds out really well and maybe only use 2 peppers instead of three. They are also slightly sweeter, so keep that in mind.

Finding chili peppers has been beyond difficult this year. I have not been able to find canned whole Hatch Green Chili’s for months and believe me, I have looked everywhere! I have been craving this Chile Relleno Casserole.

How Do I Avoid Hot Pepper Hands?

Be careful anytime you are cutting peppers with your bare hands! The oils from the peppers get onto hands and cause burning. Sometimes especially in the winter when your skin is dry and cracked, this burning can be intense. Don’t ask me how I know, I just do! 🙂

The Best Way to Handle Cutting Hot Peppers

  • The best way is to wear gloves! I typically will wear non-latex gloves when chopping a lot of peppers, plus I wash the cutting board and knife once I am done with a little baking soda paste and then dispose of the gloves.
  • No gloves? Wash hands with soap and warm water (I suggest something even stronger, like this Salt Scrub), soap and water alone will not remove the oils.
  • Next, make a paste out of baking soda and water, submerge hands in the paste, remove and allow to dry, then wash with lukewarm water.
  • I keep a tube of this Aloe Vera gel in my kitchen, it works wonders on any burns, even pepper oil burns. I have had severe stove burns that have blistered and slathered gauze with this aloe gel and the burn has all but disappeared the next day. Great stuff! Sunburns too!
  • Lastly, be very, very careful if you have contact lenses and you have been handling hot peppers, I have burned my eyes more than once putting in or taking our contacts because of the residue on my hands — and it’s worth noting that you should not touch or rub your face after handling peppers.
Ingredient shot for Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup L-R Onion, Celery, Carrots, rotisserie chicken, heavy cream, chicken broth, cilantro, butter, poblano chilies, thyme, cumin, salt and garlic not shown.

Ingredients

  • Unsalted or salted butter | sautéing the veggies and peppers in the butter gives this dish incredible flavor!
  • Onions | diced small, yellow, sweet or white onion is fine
  • Celery | cut into a medium dice
  • Carrots | adds beautiful color and flavor
  • Garlic Cloves | again, with the amazing flavor!
  • Poblano Peppers | medium, seeded and diced, replace with Anaheim if unavailable. *See note above on handling peppers properly.
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Ground Cumin | the essential smokey spice for many Mexican dishes
  • Dried Thyme | just a bit, but adds more earthy flavors to the soup
  • Chicken Broth | Stock or broth, just taste for saltiness, I use organic
  • Heavy Cream | a low carb lovers dream, but this is not a heavy soup, trust me!
  • Shredded Chicken | make your own using chicken breasts & thighs or rotisserie chicken with a blend of white and dark meat
  • Fresh Cilantro | a must for final flavor burst
  • Radishes | I am not a radish lover, but truly this adds amazing crunch and complimentary flavor! (optional)
  • Tortilla Chips | Optional
  • Sliced Avocado | creamy and delicious as a garnish on the soup

How to Make Poblano Chicken Soup

  1. In a large soup pot, over medium heat, melt butter. Sauté onion, celery, garlic and poblanos, stirring often until tender and lightly browning, about 12-15 minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, cumin, thyme and sauté an additional 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and caramelized.
Process shots for Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup. 1. poblano peppers on cutting board with knife, diced. 2. adding diced onions, to butter. 3. Adding celery, carrots and chilis to pot. 4. In soup pot sauteing all of the veggies.
  1. Pour in broth and cream, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, stirring often, about 15-20 minutes — this marries the flavors.
  2. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup carefully until smooth (or use a blender, blending in batches — careful though, the heat can build when using a blender, so be sure to do in small batches, never filling more than half full, removing the lid slowly) Pour the soup back into the pot.
Process shots for Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup 5. adding spices to sauted veggies. 6. Pouring in chicken broth. 7. Adding heavy cream. 8 Using immersion blender to mix veggies and broth.
  1. Add the chicken to the soup base, bring to simmer for another 15-30 minutes.
  2. Before serving, stir in cilantro.
  3. Serve warm, and if desired, garnish with tortilla chips, sliced radishes and some chopped avocado.
Process shots for Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup 9. Adding rotisserie chicken to soup. 10. Chopping Cilantro on knife over soup. 10. Added cilantro to soup, stirring in. 12. Wooden spoon with portion of soup

Store any leftovers (cooled completely) in refrigerator in an airtight container 3-5 days. May be frozen (after cooling) up to 3-6 months.

Recipe adapted from Joanna Gaines Magnolia Table Volume Two, which is a beautiful and fun cookbook, <–here’s the link!

Radish Garnish in Poblano Soup

A note about the addition of radishes to this soup. I was raised with radishes in every salad and I always avoided them, my parents loved them, I never did, too spicy for my taste.

However; when something is recommended I generally try it; because maybe my tastes have changed, maybe it will make the dish go zing, maybe I won’t like it.

In this case I HIGHLY recommend the sliced or slivered radish garnish, they add a lovely crunch, a brightness and beauty to the soup that will surprise you! Maybe you won’t like it, but maybe like me, you will love it!

Facebook image for Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup in a rustic clay blue bowl with rustic soup spoon. with radishes on cutting board, fresh cilantro

Is Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup Low Carb

It sure is! This delicious soup is low carb, Keto friendly AND gluten free!

How Do I Freeze and Reheat Cream Soup?

We ate this soup so quickly there wasn’t a question as to whether or not it would freeze, but yes, according to the original recipe you can freeze this soup.

  • Typically soups with cream in it will separate when freezing, taking on a curdled appearance and grainy texture.
  • Optimally, thaw cream soups overnight in refrigerator, then when you reheat, do it slowly to minimize the separation between ingredients.
  • Stirring regularly, due to the higher fat content in the cream in this soup, you shouldn’t have as much of a separation problem.

SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Can I substitute 1% or fat free milk for the heavy cream. I would not recommend those, you can try using whole milk or 2% at the most, but the soup will not have the same flavor and depth.
  • Can I use cooked regular chicken breast or thighs instead of rotisserie chicken? Absolutely! Shred or chop into bite size pieces ahead of time.
  • Vegetarian? | Well why not, omit the chicken and perhaps try tofu or other plant based protein and swap out the chicken broth for a good vegetable broth.

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Pinterest Pin for Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup with call out that it's Gluten Free, Low carb and Keto. Image of bowl of creamy chicken soup in black bowl with black spoon, tortilla chips in background.

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Generally love this in restaurants. Made this with our own cooked chicken, and added queso fresco after made. Was deelish! Thanks for the recipe. Next time will add the radishes.

  2. This warming soup really hit the spot this week when we spent 2 days digging out of 2 feet of snow! We all agreed this will be our new snow day favorite!

  3. 5 stars
    So very happy that I found this soup because it is bursting with flavor! We had it for dinner tonight, and it was the perfect balance… and we all had seconds. We’ll be making this again and again while it’s cold outside.

  4. 5 stars
    I absolutely loved this soup. The combination of the chicken with the creamy poblano base was amazing. I’m already craving another bowl! We’ll be making a double batch nest time.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this for my family and we loved it! It has great flavor, not spicy so we added a dash of Cholula hot sauce to kick it up a notch! Delicious!