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Although driving into the city every day is now part of my life, I still do the majority of our grocery shopping in our small, local grocery stores. While I would love to say that I solely shop there because I want to make sure to support my community and its businesses, it’s mostly because I like the people at my tiny little grocery store so much more than any big box chain store I could go to. (I have also found that they are often cheaper, too)
I cannot go to the store without being greeted by every employee in the building. They all know my name, ask about my kids, my job, or our new house. We talk about the weather, the price of beef, or Donald Trump’s hair. You can often find me quizzing the butcher about the meat selection or asking the manager if he could carry some strange ingredient for me (like hoisin sauce. Thanks Gary!). And I believe that they are all genuinely happy to see us walk in. So, my husband and I have made an effort to purchase any new vegetable or meat that our neighborhood store takes a gamble on. It’s a risk bringing new products into a small-town market and we want to support the opportunity to have a wider variety. So, this week we found ourselves the owners of a sackful of poblano peppers.
Poblanos are large peppers that, when cooked, lose most of their heat but keep all of their flavor. They add a smoky warmth to any dish without being too spicy. I like to roast and peel mine, then add them to anything from tacos to soup. If you can’t find poblanos, you could substitute a can of diced green chiles, but it won’t be near as good. Roast and peel several peppers so that they are ready to add to any dish.
Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
- 1 large poblano pepper
- 1 t . vegetable oil
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 t . dried oregano
- 1 inch large potato peeled and chopped into ½- pieces
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 t . kosher salt
- 1 t . pepper
- 1 ½ cups frozen sweet corn
- 2 cups milk
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Preheat the broiler. Rub the poblano pepper with the vegetable oil. Place on a baking sheet and put it in the oven as close as you can to the broiler without touching. Broil for 10 minutes on each side or until the skin of the pepper blisters and starts to turn black. Remove the pepper from the oven and place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Once the pepper is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and remove the stem and seeds. Finely chop the pepper and set aside. (You can do this part in advance)
- Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat and cook the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon onto paper towels and reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Add the onions to the pan, cooking until onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and oregano and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the potatoes and the chopped poblano pepper and then pour in the chicken stock and salt. Bring the stock to a simmer, cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the bacon, pepper, corn and all but ¼ cup of the milk and bring to a simmer. Whisk the remaining milk and the flour together until smooth and then slowly whisk into the pot. Cook for another minute or two until the soup thickens, check for seasoning adding more salt or pepper if needed, then divide into bowls, sprinkle with cilantro and serve!