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Spicy Roasted Pepper Chicken Soup with Homemade Crema

This is by far one of my favorite and most versatile soup recipes. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure recipe and mixing and matching will still land you on an awesome meal, no matter which way you go. Don’t like spice? Replace the jalapeños with red bells and omit the chipotle peppers in adobo.

Want more spicy? Live your best life and add that whole can of chipotle peppers. Buy pre-made black bean and corn salsa or use canned beans, frozen corn, and canned fire-roasted tomatoes. If you buy the beans and corn separately, you may need to kick up the seasoning a bit. The following is less of a recipe and more of a general guideline but I promise you, however you make it, the end result will be delicious!


Serves: 12

Cost: $

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 1 hour 15 minutes (60 minutes inactive)


1 or 2 store-bought rotisserie chickens (depends on the size and how much chicken you want in your soup)

2 poblano peppers

1-2 jalapeños

1 red bell pepper

2 yellow onions

6 garlic cloves

1 red onion, divided (Reserve a bit of the red onion to be diced for garnish)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 7-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 14.5-ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 16-ounce jars of pre-made black bean and corn salsa (Or use a mix of canned diced tomatoes, black beans, and frozen corn)

1 4.5-ounce can of green chilis

1 cup chicken stock

A few shakes of chili powder to taste


1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup sour cream

Salt, to taste

Juice of half a lime


Fresh cilantro

Lime wedges

Diced red onion

Shredded Monterey jack cheese

Broken Tortilla chips


Prepare Ingredients: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Pick off all the chicken meat and discard the skin and bones. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces. Cut the poblano and red bell peppers in half and remove the seeds. Remove the seeds from the jalapeños (if desired). Peel the garlic cloves. Peel and cut the 2 yellow onions in half. Cut off 1/4 of the red onion and finely dice it and reserve for garnish. Roughly chop the remaining 3/4 of the onion and set aside.

Prepare the Crema: Whisk the sour cream and heavy cream until smooth. Stir in the lime juice and season with salt. Cover and set out for at least 1 hour at room temperature.

Roast the Vegetables: Line a large roasting pan with aluminum foil and arrange the poblano peppers, red bell pepper, jalapeños, onion halves, and garlic cloves in an even layer. Drizzle generously with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until well charred, turning the vegetables halfway through cooking. After roasting, remove and discard the stems from the peppers.

Start the Soup: As the vegetables are roasting, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high until very hot. Add the roughly chopped red onion and cook until softened and translucent, 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until fragrant and starting to deepen in color, an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and whisk until the tomato paste and stock mixture is smooth. Stir in the green chilis, diced tomatoes, salsa, and shredded chicken and bring to a boil. Season to taste with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer.

Finish the Roasted Vegetables: In a food processor, combine all the roasted vegetables and the can of chipotles in adobo sauce if desired. Note: if you’d like to reduce the heat, only use 1 chipotle and a bit of the adobo sauce or omit the chipotles entirely. Pulse the vegetables until finely chopped. Stir the mixture into the simmering soup. Continue simmering to let the flavors meld for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

To Serve: Divide the soup between bowls and serve with garnishes and allow guests to mix and match their toppings. Enjoy!

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