Another hearty soup just waiting to heat you up. This is a stick to the ribs kind of soup, and it completely vegetarian (if you use vegetable stock). Enjoy!
- 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (or any dried mushroom)
- 1–2 dried ancho peppers, cut up (use scissors) and seeded before soaking
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato, roughly chopped (a large sweet potato would be delicious, too)
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1–2 jalapeño peppers (depending on how hot they are, you gotta taste ’em!)
- 8 oz. fresh shitake, cremini (or any other mushrooms), brushed clean and sliced (save about 2 oz., sliced for garnish)
- 3–4 poblano chiles, charred, peeled, and seeded, then coarsely chopped*
- 4 cups (32 oz.) chicken stock (or vegetable to make it vegetarian)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- Kosher salt (about 1-2 teaspoons total) and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (for sure, try half n’ half or yogurt if you’d like)
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Bring 2-cups of water to a boil. Carefully pour into a heat-proof bowl. Add the dried mushrooms and ancho chiles to the bowl, submerging them in the hot water. Let reconstitute for about 20-30 minutes until soft. Drain the liquid into a vessel and reserve for the soup.
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden and soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeños, and cook for another minute or two. Add the mushrooms, chilies, and oregano to the pan. Let the mixture sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the potato, soaking liquid, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Ladle the mushroom/potato mixture into a blender (a Vitamix is fantastic if you have one) and all the stock and process until smooth. Pour in the cream and continue to blend until completely smooth. Work in batches if necessary. Return the soup to the pot and add the cilantro. Add the remaining stock and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- While the soup is heating, melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, season to taste with salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid and the liquid evaporates about 8-10 minutes. Use these crispy mushrooms for garnish.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro and mushrooms.
*To char the poblanos, place the peppers directly on the flame of a gas burner (or use a hot broiler or your grill!), and turn with tongs until completely blackened and blistered on all sides. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Then remove and wipe off the blackened skin (the back of a small pairing knife works well, too), remove the stem and seeds, and chop.
**A note about dried or fresh shitake mushrooms: they have very woody, tough stems. Remove the stems and save them for stock.
All peppers vary in heat, so the best advice is to taste a little. Add more for flavor, less if it’s too hot for you. You are the best judge of your tolerance. Take the time to make the right decision because you can always add more, but you can’t take it away!
-1 oz. of dried mushrooms yields approx. 3-4 oz. of reconstituted mushrooms.
Keywords: poblano peppers, ancho chiles, mushrooms, dried mushrooms, winter soup, roasted peppers