Okay, I know, another vegetarian recipe. Honestly, I swear there’s no agenda behind this meat-free spree. These last three recipes have been an accurate representation of how I’ve been eating lately and how I like to eat in the aftermath of the holiday season. After a parade of mashed potatoes and roast beasts of all sorts, I tend to retreat into a more legume, bean, and vegetable-heavy way of life. It’s the return to sanity my body seems to crave. Although this need for sanity does nothing to allay my Toblerone cravings…but that’s beside the point. The point is this Blistered Poblano White Bean Soup is nothing more than business as usual as far as January is concerned.
No, I am not a vegetarian. I even hesitate to call myself a flexitarian. But I will admit I am trying to eat less meat. And I’m attempting to do that for a whole host of environmental reasons. I have no doubt you’ve heard or read about them from more reputable sources than this one. So, if you’re the least bit terrified that I’m about to get preachy, relax! I find the state of the world far too depressing to write about and, more importantly, you’ve heard it all before. But in case you haven’t, this is a good place to start. Instead, let’s talk about how delicious, easy and healthy this Blistered Poblano White Bean Soup is.
Disclaimers Aside, Let’s Talk Soup!
The other day, when I served up a bowl of this to my bf, I excitedly recited the ingredient list to him. Did he ask for this information? No. Did he want this information? I can’t say he did. Am I a little bit insane? Absolutely. I breathlessly recited the contents of the soup because it’s healthy. Not healthy-ish, this soup is full-on healthy. The tortilla chips I later crumbled into the soup, well, those are a different story. I’m sorry, I can’t get down with baked tortilla chips. I’ve tried. Oh, how I’ve tried.
Yes, I’ve made healthy dishes before. I’ve got an assortment of Better-For-You-Bowls and salads that wouldn’t make a nutritionist blanch. But I’ve had to work at them. When it comes to food, the devil on my shoulder is always louder than the angel. In fact, I think the angel is abusing her sick leave. But with this Blistered Poblano White Bean Soup, I made it exactly the way I wanted to make it and it still came out healthy. It’s a January miracle.
Give Cheese a Chance
Basically, this soup is a spiced vegetable and bean puree. That’s it. The only sort of naughty thing in it is goat cheese. And I don’t label cheese as “bad” food or even a “guilty pleasure”. I, of course, don’t think cheese should usurp a major food group, but I don’t think it should inspire self-flagellation either.
I’m not a calorie-counter. And I believe when you think about food that way, it robs you of the joy that comes with eating. Whole foods, i.e. foods that are not heavily processed or loaded with sugar and sodium, are where it’s at. Calories consumed is not a yardstick by which to measure one’s health (or worth). In short – I did promise not to preach – a hundred grams of goat cheese is not going to definitively tip the scale in either direction. It will, however, make this Blistered Poblano White Bean Soup sing like a diva.
Blistered Poblano White Bean Soup – A Soup for the People
The simplicity of this glorified vegetable puree has another positive side effect – it’s as simple to make as it’s ingredients suggest. Scorch some peppers, and slice a few carrots and you’re pretty much home free. This soup is designed with the frazzled January brain in mind. But don’t give me too much credit for that, it was all I could do with my frazzled, sunlight-deprived January brain. This is the level I’m currently functioning at on your average Tuesday night. I’m not a winter person.
Now, as a final flourish, I dusted some frozen corn with a handful of spices and threw them in the oven. This is not entirely necessary. I think this Blistered Poblano White Bean Soup can stand on its own without the assistance of corn fresh from the freezer. But if you’re feeling a touch ambitious, bake and broil some corn – it does make for a nice soup topper.
So, that’s pretty much everything you need to know about this Blistered Poblano White Bean Soup. Spicy, filling, and healthy to boot, this soup is as easy to make as it is to love.
Blistered Poblano White Bean Soup
- Food Processor
Spiced Roasted Corn
- I ½ cups frozen corn
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- juice of 1 lime
Blistered Poblano White Bean Soup
- 3 poblano peppers
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion finely diced
- 3 stalks celery sliced, leaves removed and reserved
- 3 small carrots peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp Mexican oregano**
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 cans white beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup baby spinach tightly packed
- 140g goat cheese
- 1 batch Spiced Roast Corn see above
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 radishes thinly sliced
- hot sauce optional
For the Corn
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Place the corn, spices, olive oil and lime juice in a medium-sized bowl. Stir to combine. Transfer the corn to a baking sheet lined parchment paper. Spread the corn into an even layer and place in the oven.
- Roast the corn for 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes or until lightly blistered. Set corn aside until ready to use.
For the Soup
- Using a pair of BBQ tongs, blister the poblano peppers over an open flame. If you don't have a gas stove, place the peppers close under the broiler and broil for roughly 5 minutes a side or until heavily blistered. Transfer the peppers to a plastic bag and seal. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottom pot until shimmering. Add ¾ of the onions and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add a pinch of salt and sweat the onions until just translucent. Add the carrots and celery and increase the heat to medium, saute until slightly softened, about 5-7 minutes more. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Stir in the salt and spices and toss the veg to coat. Pour in the stock, honey and white beans and bring the mixture up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes or until the veggies are very soft.
- While the soup is simmering, remove the peppers from their plastic bag and rub the charred skin off of them – they don't have to be perfect. Remove the stem and seeds and cut the peppers into chunks. Place the chunks in a food processor along with the baby spinach. Blitz until smooth. Transfer the puree to a bowl and set aside.
- Once the soup is finished simmering, either transfer the soup to the food processor (be very careful if you choose this route) and puree it in batches or keep the soup in the pot and blend with an immersion blender. Once the soup is blended, return it to medium heat. Stir in the poblano puree and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Crumble in the goat cheese and stir until melted and well integrated. Take the soup off of the heat and divide it amongst four bowls (for a main) or 6 bowls (for a starter). Garnish the soup with a dollop of yogurt, a spoonful of the Spiced Roasted Corn, the remaining onion, radishes slices, the reserved celery leaves, and hot sauce, if desired. Serve immediately with a side of tortilla chips or cornbread.