Skip to content

Chilled Potato and Poblano Pepper Soup

August 11, 2015



You know that Salvador Dali painting “The Persistence of Memory”(I looked it up),  the one with the melting pocket watch? I’m always reminded of it during these blistery hot Texas summers.  The streets look and feel hot enough to melt your shoes and time seems to be stuck at high noon.  A good chilled (vegan) soup is always a welcome meal for me at this time of year.  Gazpacho, chilled carrot and coconut, chilled tomato,  or beet are just a few that I enjoy.   Now,  to describe some foods,  there is “sweet and sour”,  “hot and sour”,  “chaux froid”,  and maybe “sweet and spicy”.  These are used in names of foods that have 2 seemingly opposing,  or at least distinct,  elements in the flavor or making of.  Can you think of any others?   This potato soup could be described as “hot and chilled”,  “spicy and chilled”, “spicy cold”, or perhaps “fiery chilled”.  Traditional vichysoisse is off my vegan diet of course,  so I left out the cream and added a couple of Mexican ingredients.  This full flavored sopa has a few distinct elements going on,  the earthy taste of potatoes, the hot spiciness of the Poblano peppers, the herbal green taste of the cilantro, thyme, bay leaf, and peppers,  and the cold temperature of the soup itself.   By adding a garnish of your choice, you can further enhance the flavor. Now that I think of it,  a melting pocket watch has 2 distinct qualities going on,  a solid object and its softening as it melts.

For about 2 quarts of soup:

2 Poblano peppers for a mild soup,  3 for a hotter flavor

1 3/4 # to 2# potatoes peeled and cut into chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves roughly minced

1 small leek (white part only with some green) sliced

1 small bay leaf

Pinch of dried thyme

4 cups vegetable stock (plus more as needed for consistency )

4 to 5 sprigs of fresh cilantro

Salt to taste

Black or white pepper optional


Broil the Poblano peppers for about 15-20 minutes on low to blister them.  Turn them over from time to time to broil evenly.  Remove from the oven and let them cool.  Peel,  cut them open,  and remove the seeds and stem.  Roughly chop the peppers and set them aside.  Two peppers will give a mild pleasant spiciness, three gives more kick. I used three but used part of one to garnish with.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks.

Heat the olive oil over low-medium heat in a pot and saute the (well washed) leek a couple minutes to sweat. Add the garlic and saute a minute or two.  Add the thyme and bay leaf and continue another minute.  Don’t let anything brown or burn. Add the potatoes and stock.  Bring to a simmer and cover.

Cook the potatoes until they are tender then add the roasted peppers and cilantro to simmer for just a couple of minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Let the soup cool down a few minutes to puree.  A hand immersion blender works really well.  Otherwise take your trusty processer and puree in batches.  I left the bay leaf in there since I was using a blender.  If you are processing it,  you probably want to remove the bay leaf.  I don’t think you’ll be able to get it completely smooth with the leeks and garlic as well. Season to taste with salt and optional pepper.

Put the soup in a container to chill down in the refrigerator. The soup will thicken up as it cools so you may need to add more stock.  The soup tasted great when hot, so I couldn’t wait for it to chill down.  Have you noticed that hot food seems to bring out spiciness but will temper down when chilled? Serve very cold in chilled cups or bowls.  This soup lends itself to many different kinds of garnish to add another layer of flavor.  Roasted corn kernels,  red bell pepper,  fresh oregano, basil or cilantro,  or croutons are a few examples.



As I discovered, it’s also very tasty served hot as a fall or winter soup.




Let’s see,  there is also “Baked Alaska”,   “iced coffee”,  “fried ice cream”….

10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2015 12:53 am

    It’s going to have to be winter soup for me. Love leek and potato combinations. This should be interesting.

  2. August 11, 2015 1:10 am

    A great combination of two of my favorite ingredients! Thanks for the recipe.

  3. August 11, 2015 10:19 am

    Nice! I like the analogy 🙂

  4. Marcella Rousseau permalink
    August 11, 2015 5:41 pm

    I love soups and have many recipes for all kinds. Yours sounds very good. Salvador Dali is my favorite artist. I have a large print of his “melting” piano with his wife, Gala, waving to the viewer. It is hanging over my piano, where else! I had my immersion blender out yesterday and made hummus. Your post has re-interested me in soups. I tend to forget about them! With the air conditioner on, it’s too cool to eat a cold soup, so I will be making a hot soup! The weather here is supposed to get very cool this week too, especially for August!

    • August 14, 2015 6:08 pm

      We’ve had 100 plus degree weather many days in a row with still more to go…I didn’t know you were a Dali fan! I don’t know much about art history, but I like Dali’s paintings very much, in fact all the surrealist art from that period appeals to me very much. On my list is to make hummus adding some chiles as a variation to put on the blog. Let’s see how soon I’ll be able to get to it. I’ve already made it once and liked it enough to make it again.
      Stay cool!

      • Marcella Rousseau permalink
        August 15, 2015 6:19 pm

        Yes, I’ve been paying attention to the weather across the nation. (I watch the evening world news.) We’ve been very lucky in Indiana compared to other states. Now they’re predicting a “Godzilla” el nino. (I think I have that right.) For us it will be a mild winter but for other states, I think California, there will be flooding. Yes, I am a big fan of Dali. I’ve watched his films and written reviews about them. And my favorite opera star is Carerra. That man sings from his toes! I also like Kathleen Battle. I wouldn’t like 100 plus degree weather, especially because my car air conditioning is kaput! Stay hydrated!

  5. September 9, 2015 2:07 am

    This looks beautiful and sounds delicious!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: