Roasted Tomato Soup with Poblanos, Oregano and Fresh Cheese

Roasted Tomato Soup with Poblanos, Oregano and Fresh Cheese

Serves 6

This classic Mexican-style soup, known as Sopa de Jitomate y Rajas, is perfect for any summer meal.

Ingredients: 
  • 2 1/2 pounds (5 medium-large round or 15 to 20 medium plum) ripe tomatoes
  • 1 pound (6 medium-large) fresh poblano chiles
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 6 cups high-quality beef broth
  • Salt, about 1/8 teaspoon, depending on the saltiness of the broth
  • 8 ounces queso fresco or pressed salted farmer's cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, about 2 cups
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Method: 

Preheat the broiler to high. Roast whole tomatoes on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until the skins are blackened on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip and broil the other side. (Or roast tomatoes over a gas flame on the stove.) Allow to cool. Peel over a bowl to collect all the juices; discard peels. Pull out core of tomato, discard. Place tomatoes and their juices in a food processor or blender, and process to a coarse puree. Set aside.

Roast chiles directly over a gas flame or 4 inches below a very hot broiler, turning occasionally until blackened on all sides, about 5 minutes for open flame, about 10 minutes for broiler. Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand 5 minutes. Peel, pull out the stem and seed pod, then rinse very briefly to remove bits of skin and seeds. Slice into 1/4-inch wide strips.

In a medium-size (4-quart) pot heat the oil over medium to medium-high, then add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until nicely browned but still a little crunchy, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano, toss a minute longer, then stir in roasted chiles and heat through. Add tomato puree to the rajas and cook over medium-high, stirring frequently, until very thick and reduced, about 7 minutes. Stir in broth, partially cover and simmer over medium-low for 30 minutes.

Season to taste with salt. Serve the soup in warm bowls, topped with cubes of queso fresco.

Advance Preparation: The soup can be made a day or two in advance, but don't simmer it for the 30 minutes. Then, when reheating, cook the soup enough to blend the flavors, season with salt and serve with the cheese.

Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving:180 calories (70 from fat), 8g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 1010mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 6g sugar), 11g protein

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