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Chile Relleno Soup

Category: Soups

I had posed the question to a bunch of friends: "What dish do you think would make an amazing soup, but you've never seen it done?"

There were many fantastic responses, and this one seemed to get the most love! So let's soup it up.

But first let's break it down. The Chile Relleno is delicious for so many reasons. One, it's fried in a delicous egg batter. Two, it's stuffed with cheese. Three, it's covered in sauce. These are the makings of a great meal. So what do we do to turn it into a soup.

I like what Massimo Bottura says: "we think critically, not nostalgically." We have to break the dish down, and of course we want to make it better. We can't just allow what we know to limit us - we.have to take it further.

What we know is that eggs in soup brings to mind an Asian appetizer soup with stringy eggs and not much else. I remember hating that when I was growing up, so I definitely don't want to do that here.

But the egg is used in the Chile Relleno to fry the chile. What if, instead of allowing the egg to remain hiding in the background we brought it out and let it stand much closer to the star of the show - the chile poblano.

In one of my former restaurants, I used to love dropping eggs into the fryer and watching them expand and crisp up. Just enough frying meant a soft center, and a crispy exterior. And while many chefs work hard to keep their eggs perfectly white and soft on the outside, I'm not gonna lie; I ADORE the crispy part of the egg.

So why not bring that egg up front and let it serve as the introduction to the soup. I'll fry it in oil, and then let it sit on top. And when you take that first bite, you can cut right into that soft center and let it leak out and make its way through the rest of the dish.

But of course there is the chile Poblano. The actual star, the lead, the one who's gonna get the culinary Emmy of the dish. We have to make that really stand out.

So charred poblano soup it is. In fact, we're gonna char just about everything. And then we'll blend most of it together, with the Poblano standing out the most. But I also want the soup to have a little more consistency. The Poblanos need a partner in crime. A wing man. And I love the pop of corn kernels in just about everything. So we won't blend that up with the other vegetables. We'll let it keep it's form. Your welcome, corn.

And then there's the toppings. Well, we know that chile relleno's are stuffed with cheese, so let's top the soup with some beautiful Monterrey Jack. We'll also need to brighten it up a bit, so let's add some cilantro and some Mexican crema. More texture? Absolutely. I'll cut up some corn tortilla's and give those a quick deep fry as well. You could always use tortilla chips in the bag, but there's something special about making your own.

And with that, we'll see if our soup comes together. Spoiler alert: It was INCREDIBLE. The smell that filled the house alone was enough to get me hyped.

Don't waste any more time. Go make the soup. It's a doozy. Your typical chile relleno is GOOD. But this takes it to the next level. And if wrong, don't feel bad letting me know!

The Fat Pastor’s Chile Relleno Soup

8 Chile Poblanos

1 Bulb Garlic, cut in half

4 Ears Corn On The Cob

1 White Onion, quartered

12 oz. Yellow Grape Tomatoes on the vine

12 oz. Red Grape tomatoes on the vine

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

4 Cups Chicken Stock

1 Tbl. Shiitake Mushroom Powder

1 Tbl. Ancho Chili Powder

2 Tsp. Cumin

2 Tsp. Mexican Oregano

3 Soft Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Thin Strips

Sesame Oil for garnish

Monterrey Jack Cheese for Garnish

Mexican Crema or Sour Cream for Garnish

Cilantro for garnish

4 Eggs 

Oil for deep frying

Turn your broiler on high. On a sheet pan, add the Chile poblanos, garlic, corn on the cob, white onion and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Broil for 10 minutes near the top of the oven, until there is a nice char on the vegetables. 

Remove from the oven, and allow vegetables to cool enough to handle. If you plan to peel the poblanos (which I don’t recommend), put them in a bag for 20 minutes to continue steaming them, and to make the process of peeling easier. But again, I think it’s a waste to lose all that beautiful char on the skins.

Meanwhile, in a soup pot add the chicken broth and shiitake mushroom powder. Bring to a soft boil, and reduce to simmer. 

When vegetables are cool, remove the seeds and stems from the Poblanos and add the peppers to pot. 

Remove garlic from husks, and add to the pot. Remove tomatoes from vines and add to pot, and then add the white onion. Dump all pan juices into the pot as well. 

Remove kernels of corn from the cob, and set aside. 

With an immersion blender, blend the soup contents together until smooth.  

Add in the corn kernels, and season with the ancho chili powder, cumin and oregano. 

Add the heavy cream, and stir and allow everything to come to a slow simmer. You can simmer for as long as you want, but it only needs about 30 minutes. 

In another pot, add enough oil to deep fry. When hot, fry the tortilla strips until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. 

Then, with extreme caution, break one egg into the hot oil and watch as it spreads out and fries. It’ll remind you of a poached egg if it was fried. I like to leave mine soft in the middle, but you can cook it to your liking. Allow to drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining eggs. 

To assemble, place some soup in a bowl. Top with the Monterrey Jack Cheese, and then surround with some of the fresh cilantro. Add strips of tortilla, and then carefully place the fried egg on top. Drizzle some Mexican Crema and sesame oil around the edges and enjoy!! 

Chile Relleno Soup
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