Roasted Chile Poblano Soup

INGREDIENTS:

4 poblano chiles
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium white onion, thickly sliced
1/4 head garlic, cloves separated and skins removed
salt and black pepper
2 sprigs epazote
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup milk
1 ounce requesón or ricotta
1/2 tablespoon fresh crema
2 corn tortillas
canola oil
Optional garnish, if desired: Crumbled Cotija cheese, and a few cilantro leaves

METHOD:

Place the poblano chiles over an open flame, turning often, until blackened on all sides. Transfer to a plastic bag and let steam for 15 minutes. Then peel the skin off, remove the stems and seeds, and cut into thin strips.

Add the butter to a large pot set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are transparent. Then add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic. Toss in the sliced poblanos and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper, the epazote, and the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.

Puree the mixture in a blender. Return to the pot and pour in the milk. Heat gently (and do not boil). Remove 1/2 cup milk and mix it with the requesón in a small bowl. Add this back to the soup. Taste for salt.

Slice the tortillas into 1/2 inch thick strips. Pour a little canola oil into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add a few of the tortilla strips and cook for a few seconds on each side until crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining strips.

Serve the soup with few few corn strips and some crema drizzled on top. Or, use the optional garnish, if desired.

SOURCE: Adapted from Seasons of My Heart by Susana Trilling