8tablespoonsbuttersalted or unsalted, just taste test when serving
2cupsonions | diced smallyellow, sweet or white onion is fine (about 1 large)
4Celery stalks | cut into a medium dice
3-4Carrots | diced
3Poblano Peppers | mediumseeded and diced, replace with Anaheim if unavailable. *See notes on handling peppers properly.
1-1 1/2teaspoonsKosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
8cupsChicken Broth2 quarts low sodium if desired
1pint2 cups Heavy Cream
3cupsShredded Chicken | make your own using chicken breasts and thighs or used rotisserie chicken with a blend of white and dark meat and it was delish!
Radishes | sliced for garnishoptional
Tortilla Chips or Strips for garnish | Optional
Sliced Avocado for garnish
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. Add salt, pepper, cumin, thyme and sauté an additional 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and caramelized.
Pour in broth and cream, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, stirring often, about 15-20 minutes -- this marries the flavors.
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.
Add the chicken to the soup base, bring to simmer for another 15-30 minutes.
Before serving, stir in cilantro. Serve warm, and if desired, garnish with tortilla chips and sliced radishes and some chopped avocado.
Store any leftovers (cooled completely) in refrigerator in an airtight container 3-5 days. May be frozen (after cooling) up to 3-6 months.
Anaheim or Hatch chilies may be substituted if you cannot find Poblano chilies, see notes in post for details. Be careful anytime you are cutting peppers with your bare hands! The oils in the peppers get onto hands and can actually cause burning, especially in the winter when your skin is dry and cracked, this burning can be intense. 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, wash the cutting board and knife once I am done with a little baking soda paste and then dispose of the gloves.
If you cannot wear gloves, then once finished prepping the pepper. Wash hands with soap and water (I suggest something even stronger, like this Salt Scrub), soap and water alone typically will not remove the oil.
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 taking out 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.
Freezing and Reheating Tips | 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.