Poblanos are my second favorite pepper after smoked jalapenos (chipotles). Most people encounter poblanos as the base for a chile relleno dish, but there is so much more potential to these spicy but not brutally hot peppers. I particularly like poblanos as the star ingredient in a spicy soup.
I first had Cream of Poblano soup at a restaurant in Cancun, Mexico a few months after I got married. We sat on the deck of La Distileria and enjoyed flights of matched tequilas, firm ocean whitefish in a spicy sauce, and this soup.
I searched the web for recipes that looked like they'd produce that flavor I'd enjoyed so much while relaxing in the January sun of Mexico's Carribbean cost. I think this one, which I have modified a little from the original at Soup Song (a great resource for soup lovers), captures much of the flavor and spiciness of the one I experienced at La Distileria without blowing off your eyebrows with too much spiciness.
You don't even have to roast and peel the poblanos for this simple soup, though if you wish, you may. It will intensify the flavor a bit.
Cream of Poblano Soup
from a recipe from Soup Song
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
3 diced poblano peppers, seeds and membranes removed
2 medium onions, diced
1/2 carrot, diced
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 large white potato, diced
8 oz. Mexican crema fresca (substitute sour cream, yogurt, or creme fraiche if you prefer)
chopped cilantro for garnish
8 large tortilla chips
1 cup Chihuahua cheese, shredded (or you can use cheddar or monterey jack if you prefer)
In a soup pot or stock pot heat the oil and butter until the butter starts to sizzle.
Add the peppers, onions, and carrot and sautee 5 minutes, stirring to coat the vegetables with the oil and butter.
Add the potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes until potatoes and carrots are soft.
Using an immersion blender, blend soup thoroughly until uniformly smooth.
(UPDATE: And then add the crema fresca and stir)
Serve in oven-proof bowls. Place two tortilla chips on top of each bowl, sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese on top of the bowl and set under a broiler until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
If you like it spicier, don't get rid of all the seeds and membranes of the poblanos and make the soup a day or two ahead of time. It just gets spicier and more complex as it sits in the refrigerator.
One caution - my fingers were red and mildly irritated for hours after I prepped the poblanos for this recipe from the capsaicin in the peppers. You might want to wear a glove on the hand holding the pepper in place as you dice it if you have sensitive skin