Poblano & Purple Potato Soup

Poblano & Purple Potato Soup

I am in love with this soup (surprise, ed surprise! I love all soup). Topped with a drizzle of smoked paprika oil and another of cilantro yogurt, discount it’s slightly spicy, creamy and very good. But before I go into more detail, let’s talk about garnishes. More specifically, cumbersome garnishes like the toasted slice of ham peeking out of this soup. I didn’t leave it whole for aesthetic reasons — I was just to lazy to slice it up. Big mistake. I had to eat around it and I missed the smoky ham bits with every bite. It wasn’t pretty. Moral of the story? Don’t add big stupid garnishes to your dish. Even if they’re pretty, they’ll just get in the way later.

So, back to the soup. I bought some Purple Idaho potatoes at the market, thinking they’d be purple all the way through. I love how pretty and colorful they look on a plate! Turns out, only the skin was purple, and the insides were as creamy yellow as a standard Idaho. No matter, they were just as tasty. This soup is really simple — just saute onions, garlic and poblano peppers, add potatoes and chicken stock and you’re basically done. The smoked paprika oil and cilantro yogurt really complete the dish, and the crisped ham added a nice crunch and smokiness (bacon bits would be fabulous, too!).

If you like potato soup and spiciness, then this is the soup for you. Next time, I think I’ll add some sauteed Spanish chorizo bits instead of the ham. Either way, I’m making this again. And soon!

Poblano & Purple Potato Soup with Smoked Paprika Oil and Cilantro Yogurt
Omit the ham for a vegetarian soup. Or, if you love your meat, you can sub sauteed Spanish chorizo or bacon bits for the ham.

Special equipment: immersion (or stand) blender

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large poblano peppers, diced
1 lb. purple Idaho potatoes, unpeeled and diced (or same amount creamer or regular Idaho potatoes)
3 cups chicken stock
salt to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro, leaves and stems ok
1/2 cup plain yogurt (non-fat is ok, Greek-style is preferred)
4 slices of ham

Set a large pot over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the olive oil and onions. Saute the onions for about 5 – 7 minutes, or until soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute, then add the peppers. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until the peppers just begin to soften.

Add the potatoes and stock and bring to a simmering boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are fork-tender.

While the soup cooks, make the toppings. Stir the smoked paprika into the olive oil until mostly combined. Set aside. Use your blender to blend the yogurt and cilantro. Set aside. Place the ham slices under the broiler until the crisp and brown, then chop them into small bits. Set aside.

Remove from heat and blend thoroughly until soup is smooth. Taste and add salt if needed.

Ladle the soup into bowls, then drizzle with the smoked paprika oil, cilantro yogurt and sprinkle with the ham bits. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 – 6 servings.


  1. What an awesome winter dish. Love your blog, and especially its name :)

  2. bitchin’ kitchen – Ha! Thanks :)

  3. Totally sounds good to add chorizo next time. Can’t go wrong with more pork. :)

  4. this really does sound delicious, and I like that you choose practicality and edibility over architectural aesthetics when it comes to garnishes!

  5. This soup looks so good. There’s nothing like a spicy soup to warm you up on winters day. I think I would try it with some applewood smoked bacon crumbled on the top, aesthetics be damned.

  6. Thanks everyone :)

    Corey – Damn straight, bacon would be awesome. I really wish I’d had some. Sadly, nothing but ham in the fridge :(

  7. What a killer soup! It looks like a super delicious blend of flavors. I eat tons of homemade soup too, and my boyfriend is always like, “You’re eating soup for dinner again? That’s so boring.” And I’m like, “Uh it’s more interesting than your SUBWAY dinner.”

  8. What a killer soup! It looks like a super delicious blend of flavors. I eat tons of homemade soup too, and my boyfriend is always like, “You’re eating soup for dinner again? That’s so boring.” And I’m like, “Uh it’s more interesting than your SUBWAY dinner.”

  9. It’s a shame that you did not like the garnish because it really is visually striking. But I can totally understand how it would get in the way. I really love the idea of chorizo; makes me want to run out right now and grab some!
    I am not sure, but I think I have seen a variety of potato that is blue or purple all the way through. I wonder how that would affect the color of the soup. Ever seen an aquamarine soup? Lol

  10. Kirby – Hahaha! Yes, I’ll take homemade soup over Subway any day :)

    Erik – Yep, I thought I was buying the purple-all-the-way-through potatoes. I didn’t realize it was just the skin that was purple until I diced them. I’m actually glad they weren’t purple – would’ve made some hideous soup :)

  11. Am dying to make this – sounds great. Good photography too – was the reflection in the spoon intentional?

  12. dlab – not intentional, but I always end up reflected in the spoon! Thanks :)

  13. mel- there are almost always blue/purple and pink potatoes to be found at the union square greenmarket in nyc. i’ve never seen them anywhere else, though. they taste (and look!) great and help me indulge my long-suppressed childhood desire to put food coloring in everything. you can see them (sorta) here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/speedwolf/2322907832/in/set-72157613602791373/

    p.s. i love your recipes! this one looks especially delicious. i love poblanos, but i’ve never cooked them any other way than rajas for tacos. i wonder if roasting them would work in this recipe–maybe add a bit of that smoky flavor it’d miss without the ham or bacon?

  14. boltchloer – Oh, how I miss the USQ greenmarket! I worked a block away from it…it was amazing! I do love me my purple potatoes!

    I think you should definitely roast them! Would add great flavor. I thought about it, but was (as usual) in too much of a rush. Let me know if you end up trying it :)

  15. Another winner. Love the addition of the paprika oil and cilantro yogurt. Also like the idea of Spanish chorizo.

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