I realize some of you, upon seeing the title, are saying “Cream of what? Richard what are you trying to do to me?” Calm down… Yes, this is a red chile soup. Yes, it has a little heat. No, I haven’t lost my mind. This is simply an unbelievably flavorful soup and your choice of red chiles helps you control the amount of heat to fit your own taste, as well as the flavor profile of the soup. It is a wonderfully warming soup on a cold and blustery day. You really need to give this a try. Yes, you will like it. 🙂
The weather in Texas is being peculiar this year. It has been a rather warm and mild winter but there have been some cold snaps coming out of nowhere. Then they vanish almost as quickly as they came. Now, those of you in the Northern parts of the world used to subzero temperatures and that white stuff called snow, you have to remember that cold in DFW is when we dip into the 30s. We don’t deal with freezing weather very well nor do we see very much snow. In fact, we are surprised when it happens. We wander around at least half of the winter in short sleeve shirts and lightweight clothing with many people wearing flip flops or sandals. Then, there are days where we have unbelievably wide temperature swings. We’ll start the day off in the 50s, around noon we’ll be in the mid 60s or low 70s with the sun shining and finally in the early evening it’s overcast and temps are in the upper 30s and falling. Then, like today, you wake up, the temps are now in the low 40s and it’s raining but by mid-afternoon the sun is supposed to be out and we will reach 68 F. Go figure. It plays hell with my dinner plans because do you really want a hot bowl of soup when it’s in the 70s? How about a nice crisp, chilled salad when it’s in the 30s?
Yesterday, the weather was a little more cooperative. It stayed in the mid 40s and drizzled for most of the day. Perfect soup weather but what type of soup to fix. I wasn’t in the mood for a fish soup. Chicken noodle soup with fresh egg noodles would be nice but then I would have to make the pasta and I wasn’t in the mood to do that. I already had some pork and poblano chiles but was saving that for Chile Rellenos Nogada (coming soon). What to do? What to do? Tomato soup seemed like a wonderful idea. I had fresh tomatoes but I didn’t have any fresh basil. Hmmm…I stood in the kitchen pondering the reality of what’s in the pantry, the freezer and fridge. Then it dawned on me. How about a nice red chile soup. It would be a lovely soup. Look at its beautiful color. It would be hearty, satisfying and belly warming with a little kick of heat. Now, that’s what I am talking about. So, this is what we did.
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 chipotle mora chiles
- 3 ancho chiles
- 2 hot New Mexico red chiles
- 2 pickled chipotle chiles (recipe here), minced
- 1/2 tsp cumin, toasted and ground
- 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chihuahua cheese, grated to finish
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped for garnish
Except for the chipotles, seed the chiles and heat them on a comal or hot skillet until they become fragrant, roughly 15 seconds
Place all dried chiles (including the chipotle mora) in a glass bowl, cover with boiling water, roughly 1/2 to 1 cup, and weight down.
Soak for 20 – 30 minutes to rehydrate and soften the chiles.
While the chiles are soaking, add the olive oil, garlic and onions to a heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
Sauté until fragrant and the onions are translucent, roughly 8 minutes. Now add the tomatoes
and the chicken stock.
Cover the pot and gently simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching to tomatoes to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for roughly 30 – 45 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, after 20 – 30 minutes, remove the chiles from the water and chop.
After the soup has simmered for 30 – 45 minutes, add the chopped chiles to the soup.
Mince the pickled chipotles and add them to the soup.
Add the cumin
Add salt to taste and allow the soup to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
After 15 – 20 minutes, add the heavy cream.
Stir to incorporate. Allow to cook another 3 – 5 minutes to heat through. Now, pour soup mixture into a vegetable mill and puree.
Put back on stove over medium heat. Adjust seasoning as needed and heat through. Ladle into bowls
Sprinkle a little cheese on top.
Finish with a little cilantro for garnish.
Serve & enjoy.
NOTES: If you do not have pickled chipotles and don’t want to make them, substitute 2 canned chipotle in adobo, 1 tsp brown sugar and 1 tsp lime juice for the pickled chipotles.
If the soup is a little too spicy for your tastes, substitute dried red anaheim peppers for the hot New Mexico red chiles and reduce the number of chipotle mora to 1. If, on the other hand, you want a little more spice then add more chipotle moras or a couple chile de arbol. If you want a little more earthiness, add a pasilla negra chile to the mix. You can customize this soup however you like. Baby Lady preferred her soup with Mexican creme as opposed to the cheese. You can also use sour cream. Again, whatever you like. You can make it your way. Just make it. 🙂
16 thoughts on “Cream of Red Chile Soup”
My husband would love this….
I’m glad. It’s not difficult to make but does take a little time. Nonetheless, it’s worth the time and effort as it’s very flavorful.
We are growing more hot peppers this summer so this will come in handy.
Upon seeing the title, I could think of only one blogging buddy who would think of such a soup… 😉
Yep. I’m guilty as charged but it is sooooo good. I promise. 😀
One never knows how lucky one is. At least you have the temperatures going up and down. Ours here seem to only go down and down again. That is, if it is not raining. The soup looks fantastic. I love the thick consistency. Excellent post.
Thanks, Conor. It was one of those interesting meals when Elia, while taking photos, is looking at me as if I had lost my mind. When I ran it through the veggie mill as opposed to the blender because I wanted a coarser texture, she did ask me if I knew what I was doing. 🙂 When she went back for seconds, she commented to me she hadn’t been very confident in the meal but it sure was good. We saved the leftovers for Quickstep inasmuch as he was coming for dinner tonight. He loves chile. We aren’t going to tell him anything about the soup so it will be fun to hear his reaction next week when we see him again. 😀
This soup is my kind of food! Never heard of the pickled chipotles. Do you make them yourself ?
Hi, Mimi. Glad you like the soup. Yes, I make the pickled chipotles. If you click on pickled chipotles in the ingredient list, it will take you to the recipe. They are incredibly good and fiery hot.
Sounds delicious. I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted Mora chiles. Hope I can find those. Have everything else. I love creamed soups and would love to try this.
Hi, Peggy. Glad you like the soup. There are 3 types of chipotle chiles: 1 chipotle meco (also known as chipotle tipico); 2 chipotle mora; and 3 chipotle morita. All of them are smoke dried jalapeños. The chipotle meco is roughly 1-1/2 inches long and grayish-tan with striations on it’s flesh that look like stretch marks known as “corking.” It is quite stiff, and is often described as looking like a cigar butt. It is deeply imbued with smoke and is both hot and flavorful. Chipotle mora and morita are essentially the same except for size. Mora in Spanish means mulberry and morita means little mulberry. Chipotle mora and chipotle morita are dark red, sometimes approaching purple in color. Chipotle mora and morita are not smoked nearly as long as the chipotle tipico. As such, it remains leathery and pliable. Not only is the smoky flavor much more intense in the Chipotle meco but its flavor is much richer. Chipotle mecos are commonly toasted, soaked, and stuffed. You can find the various types of chipotles at most Fiesta grocery stores and at Penzy’s.
Thanks so much for a nice explanation on those peppers, Richard. I’ll look into getting some of those.
I was once in DFW in February and, overnight, the temp dipped to about 30˚. I could not believe the number of accidents that morning as I went to the conference. It seemed that every patch of ice, no matter how small, had a fender bender associated with it. They should have some of your tasty soup for breakfast. They might have been more alert. And if not, at least they would have had a full belly. 🙂
Haha, John. You are quite right! We just don’t do cold well at all. 😀
Quiero todo!! Why the food mill and not the Vita Prep? beso!
Gracias, Liza. 🙂 Usado la molina de comida porque quiero una textura mas rustica y el Vita Mix hace mas suave. 😉