I am in love with this soup (surprise, surprise! I love all soup). Topped with a drizzle of smoked paprika oil and another of cilantro yogurt, 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.