May 1, 2012 4:35 PM
Creamy Poblano Soup
POSTED IN: Recipes , Soups
TAGS: Corn , Creamy Poblano Soup , Mexican , mexican soup , Poblano , Poblano Peppers
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Growing up in Mexico City, I didn't know a single person who celebrated Cinco de Mayo, except for the people who lived in the state of Puebla. We didn't even get the day off! Sure we studied it in school--the unprecedented victory of a small Mexican militia against the large French army in 1862--but it was a short-lived victory, as the French won right back.

Fast forward 150 years to 2012: the French and Spanish are gone; Mexicans proudly celebrate Independence Day every September 16; yet, for reasons few of us can explain, Cinco de Mayo has become the greatest, most joyous, colorful celebration--for Mexicans living abroad. As strange as the nostalgia is, the longer I live abroad, the stronger the impact Cinco de Mayo has within my soul. These words fluff up like soft conchas right out of the oven, getting fluffier, sweeter and more comforting as the years go by.

As do so many Mexicans (and, increasingly, non-Mexicans), I celebrate anything that can be celebrated about our Mexicaness: our heritage, resilience, hard-working and accommodating nature, our warmth, hospitality, generosity, the vibrancy and richness of our music, dance and food. Above all, our tendency to tirar la casa por la ventana (to throw out the house through the window) when it comes to throwing a party. 

Thankfully, as Cinco de Mayo celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, the spotlight is finally being cast on Puebla, the place where that famous battle took place. At last, the celebration that has become the rage beyond Mexico's borders is coming back to the place where it originated. It's about time!

Puebla is a hidden treasure, a colonial jewel with rich history, architecture, arts and culture, coupled with an exquisite overlay of modernity. Most important, its one of Mexico's main culinary hubs.


Some of our most iconic (and most labor intensive) dishes come from Puebla, born in convents where Spanish and Mexican cuisines wedded so beautifully. There's the classic mole Poblano, with its layers of complex flavors subtly coming together once in your mouth; and there's the colorful chiles en Nogada whose red, white and green represents the Mexican flag.

Yet Puebla is also home to a bounty of homestyle accessible dishes like the chicken tinga and the corn torte. And it's home to one of my favorite Mexican ingredients: the chile Poblano. See below? That is how many Poblano chiles I go through a week in my house.


This key ingredient has never ceased to charm me, from the moment I get it at the store to the moment I taste its exuberant, fruity flavor. It is, quite simply, sublime. Each time I cook a dish with a Poblano it feels like a celebration, as if I were right there in Puebla, but the party just happens to unfold inside of my home.

If you can't get to Puebla anytime soon, try this soup for a Cinco de Mayo moment, be it Cinco or not.

Article written for and published by NBC Latino, poblano soup photo by Jack Foley.

Crema Poblana

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped white onion
5 to 6 Poblano chile peppers, roasted or charred, sweated, peeled, seeded and diced (about 1 1/2 pounds total, or 1 1/2 prepared as mentioned)
2 cups corn kernels, shaved from a cooked fresh ear of corn, or cooked from thawed
1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
3 cups chicken broth(may substitute for vegetable broth)
1 cup milk

Place a large soup pot over medium heat; add oil and butter. Once the butter melts and begins to sizzle, add the onion. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the onions have completely softened, everything is cooked through and the edges turn slightly brown (about 10 minutes total).

Add the Poblano chiles, stir and let them cook along with the onion for 3 to 4 minutes.

Make some room in the middle of the pot; add the corn and sprinkle the salt and pepper. Let everything cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour in the chicken broth. Let it come to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 additional minutes so the flavors start to blend. Reduce the heat to low, wait for about a minute, and slowly pour in the milk.

Heat the soup thoroughly for about 6 to 8 minutes, without letting it simmer or boil (if you do, it will appear curdled but still taste fine). Serve hot. Makes about 5 cups.


These words of yours are beautiful!!! "These words fluff up like soft conchas right out of the oven, getting fluffier, sweeter and more comforting as the years go by." Thank you for beautiful recipes, beautiful photos, and beautiful words!

Kathryn Anderson | May 1, 2012 4:02 PM

dear chef pati... i have to thank you that with so many mexican recipes, you remind me of my ancestors, of course some were from Puebla, and I steel can't have enough of the poblano food and sweets, camotes for ejample
thank you so much (for the memory)

moises drijanski | May 1, 2012 4:49 PM

I love your recipes and your photos!!! I want to make a painting of your photos!!!


Tamara | May 1, 2012 9:26 PM

Hola Chef Papi!!! Me gusta mucho que me dejes comentarios aquí, te extraño mucho. Te veo en un par de semanas, tu hija que te adora y que aprendió TODO lo que sabe de cocina de ti ; )

Pati Jinich replied to comment from moises drijanski | May 3, 2012 12:19 PM

Hola Paty,

Gracias por tus bellas recetas que ponen el arte culinario de México en el escenario. Es verdad que mientras más estamos lejos de nuestro México querido, más queremos recordarlo. Por favor continua deleitándonos con tus recetas. Feliz 5 de mayo! :) I'm making this delicious soup this Saturday!


Georgina | May 3, 2012 12:30 PM

Pati, Your show on PBS is awesome.Your receipes are so simple and look delicious. I love to watch you work. Wish you were on more.

Brenda | May 3, 2012 6:01 PM

Hola Pati,

I have fallen in love with your blog and your show and absolutely all of your recipes. I am on a mad hunt to find the Chiles en Nogada recipe. I first tasted it at my madre's friend house and i thought i must have this recipe. What are your thoughts...I am still researching and I was wondering if you have your own recipe for Chiles en Nogada.

Muchas Gracias!!!!

Olga Sifuentes

Raised in Texas, born in Villa Juarez, Durango, Mexico

Olga | May 5, 2012 10:27 PM

Hola Olga, Yes, I have a Chiles en Nogada recipe! Here it is Enjoy!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Olga | May 9, 2012 3:40 PM

I am 74 and retired last year. I can't afford to go to my favorite restaurant as often as I used to so I am trying to learn how to prepare my favorites and some new dishes. I love, love, love your show on PBS. You are a great teacher explaining the ingredients etc. Your food looks amazing and I want to do it too now. Your tomatillo show was great. You showed how easy it is to prepare them in a salsa and with chicken. Thank you. I love salsa verde on lots of things. I tried mixing it with avocado and crema and drizzle it on eggs and enchiladas. Wonderful. Much better than the bottled that I thought was so tasty.

Required Sandie Hayes | May 28, 2012 3:20 PM

Hola Sandie, Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I am so happy you love love the show and the recipes. I love salsa verde too and putting it on many dishes :). If you ever have any recipe requests, just let me know!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Required Sandie Hayes | June 1, 2012 11:26 AM

Hi Pati,

I made your Chicken with Tomatillos, Onions and Piloncillo and your Chopped Salad with Avocado, Corn and Hearts of Palm the other night. Both were hits at the table.
I knew you had it going on when I began to read your recipes. The recipes you provide are balanced in flavor and delicious.
I will be cooking from your website all summer long.

Thank you,
Liz Gober

Liz Gober | July 17, 2012 5:22 PM

Hola Liz, I am so glad you loved the recipes you made so far! I hope you continue to enjoy them, and if you have any requests, just let me know!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Liz Gober | July 19, 2012 9:43 AM

Will almond milk work in the recipe? I only buy almond milk for my lactose intolerant family.

Patty | August 8, 2012 1:48 PM

This is a simple soup, but it's soooo delicious! The spicy poblanos and sweet corn are perfect together. I'll be making this often. Thanks!

Teresa F. | September 18, 2012 8:05 PM

Paty I am Happy, Happy to see you again I love your
program. History information, your personality. Great recepies!

RequiredTomasa | September 19, 2012 3:05 PM

Hola Teresa, I'm so glad you tried the poblano soup recipe! Thank you for letting me know it turned out well.

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Teresa F. | September 19, 2012 4:09 PM

Hola Tomasa, You are too kind! I am so happy you enjoy the program. Thank you so much for watching.

Pati Jinich replied to comment from RequiredTomasa | September 19, 2012 4:19 PM

Dearest Pati,

I love to watch your show. You make me want to get busy cooking. Your recipes are easy to understand and I can almost taste it as you explain it. I have a grandaughter who is part hispanic and of course, she is just beautiful. I also love your web page. You have so much to share and you don't mind sharing your recipes. I want to thank you. I will let you know when I try to cook some of your dishes. I plan to try them out on Marcos, my son-in-law, who is hispanic. He came to America from the Vera Cruz area. He wants my daughter to learn how to cook more Mexican dishes so I told her about your show. So long for now. I will talk to you again soon.


Deborah Sistare | November 3, 2012 3:24 PM

I watched a show where you took corn tortillas and made chips of them and then baked them. A sauce was made in the blender from using tomatillos and some other ingredients. I looked on your list of recipes, and could not find this one. I forget the name of it, but thought it would be a very good way to use corn tortillas that my son left at my house. It could had been a soup, however, I don't recall. Could you please email me this recipe?
thanks alot.

tom hank | November 30, 2012 11:47 AM

Hola Tom, I believe the recipe you are looking for is Green Chilaquiles in Roasted Tomatillo Sauce: Thank you very much for watching the show!!!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from tom hank | December 3, 2012 10:02 AM

This is a delicious soup! I went to Barnes & Noble to buy your book today, and they said it isn't released until March! :( Well, anyway, I'm a fan!

Rebecca | December 10, 2012 4:53 AM

Hi Rebecca, Thank you for trying the poblano soup!! Yes, my book won't be out until March, but you can reserve a copy online through Barnes & Noble. Info. here:

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Rebecca | December 11, 2012 6:32 PM

I made this soup and it is not only so easy but SO delicious! Unlike other soups, the prep time is minimal since there are only few ingredients. I also didnt add any milk and it was perfectly creamy on its own! Thanks Pati for this wonderful recipe, I absolutely love your show and I am so happy you post these delicious recipes on your website as well!

KO | December 12, 2012 11:36 AM