Cheesy Potato Soup with Roasted Poblano, Greens and Bacon
The roasted Poblano adds flavor and smokiness--but not too much heat--to this hearty yet rather healthy soup. For more intense heat as well as ease, a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce may be used. Rather than using cream as in many potato soups, a moderate amount of flavorful cheese is used. Greens add to the texture and health appeal. A side of cornbread is all you need to complete the meal.

Yields 4 servings.


  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock, divided
  • 1 Poblano chile pepper (see notes)
  • 4 cups stemmed, sliced greens (I used a 5-ounce bunch Lacinato kale; beet greens, Swiss chard, curly spinach or tatsoi would all be great choices)
  • 1 cup Sargento 4-Cheese Mexican Blend (may use Pepper Jack for more kick)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (include stems; there is lots of flavor in them!)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Additional cilantro and cheese for garnish, if desired


  1. In a medium to large saucepan, sauté the bacon until crisp; remove to a plate.
  2. In the bacon grease that remains, sauté the onion over medium heat until soft and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Chop the potatoes. If using a soft-skinnned potato like a new potato, there is no need to peel. Add the potatoes and three cups of chicken stock, stirring and releasing any crusty brown pieces on the bottom of the pan; there is a lot of flavor there. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, roast the Poblano chile pepper over an open flame or 3-4 inches below the broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, 10 minutes for a broiler. (I typically use my broiler, setting the timer in three-minute increments so I don’t forget to check and turn.)
  5. When the pepper is charred all over, place in a paper bag and seal (you may also wrap well in a tea towel), and let sit for about 15 minutes. Then cut the pepper open, removing and discarding the stem and the seeds. Scrape the skin off the flesh and discard that, too. I find it easiest to use the paper bag to rub off the skin. Then chop the flesh.
  6. When the potatoes are very tender, add the chopped Poblano and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. I drape the pot with a tea towel to avoid splatters. (You may also puree in several batches in a food processor or a blender, leaving the blender lid cracked just a little to allow steam to escape. Then return to the pan.)
  7. Add the chopped greens (I make 1/2-inch slices across the leaves, cutting those in half if the pieces are long.) Then add the cheese, the cilantro and the remaining broth until you achieve the thickness you desire. Simmer about 2 minutes more or until the greens are wilted.
  8. Taste and adjust for seasoning. I used 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and several turns of the pepper mill. This will vary according to personal preference and what type of broth you used.
  9. Ladle into warm soup bowls, then sprinkle with additional cheese and cilantro, if desired, topping it all off with the reserved bacon.

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