Chicken poblano soup with corn, potatoes, black beans, and a lightly creamy broth packs a ton of balanced flavor into an easy meal. It makes an equally good family dinner, casual dinner party centerpiece, or meal prep option for a busy week.
Why we love this recipe
This easy soup recipe is flavorful and nutritious, and yet is made mostly from pantry and freezer ingredients, along with vegetables you’re likely to have in the house. We get our chicken from ButcherBox and almost always have some in the freezer, and frozen corn works perfectly here.
As with many soups and stews, the flavors only get better over the course of a few days, so it’s make-ahead friendly (just see the detailed instructions about lime juice and cilantro below in the recipe card). This means you could make it for a casual dinner party, or meal prep it for a week of lunches.
Also? It’s just so darn good.
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe. It looks like a lot, but there's nothing complicated.
- You can use either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenders. If you opt for chicken breasts, cut them into strips so they'll cook faster. With tenders, remove the tough white tendon but otherwise leave them whole.
- Poblano peppers have a great combination of flavor and very mild heat. See the section below to learn how to prep them.
- Yukon gold potatoes hold their shape nicely even when they're creamy and tender.
- Frozen corn is a great choice here and easy to keep on hand.
- Half and half adds just the right level of creaminess.
Our favorite sources for meat
For years, we’ve been sourcing our meat from Butcher Box. We love this curated meat delivery service, which provides grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, organic chicken, and more from small farms direct to the customer. You can learn more in our extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.
More recently, we've also become big fans of Cooks Venture for chicken.
How to char poblano peppers
Don't be intimidated by this process. Here's all you need to do.
- If you have gas burners, simply turn the flame to high and use tongs to carefully place poblanos directly on the burner grates. Turn peppers occasionally until blackened all over. Alternatively, you can do this on the grill or in the oven under the broiler set to high, with the rack as close as possible to the heat source.
- Once poblanos are charred all over, place them into a large bowl and cover it tightly with a plate or a piece of plastic wrap. Allow poblanos to steam until they are relatively cool.
- Using your fingers or a damp paper towel, remove and discard the blackened skin.
- Seed and dice the peppers. Then they're ready to use!
How to make the soup
Once the peppers are prepped, here's what you'll do to make the recipe. You can see all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post. Get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Sauté the veggies with the butter.
- Add the chicken broth, potatoes, and chicken and cook just until the chicken is opaque. Take out the chicken and shred it with two forks while the potatoes continue to cook.
- When the potatoes are tender, add the reserved chicken and poblanos along with the beans and corn. Warm through.
- Off the heat, stir in the half and half, lime juice, and cilantro.
Expert tips and FAQs
Poblanos are usually quite mild and flavorful, but test your batch for heat, because once in a while they get a little fiery.
Yes, and we love to. It makes a big batch that keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, and the flavors will develop as it sits. Consider adding the lime juice and cilantro just before serving to amp up the freshness factor, though it's not really necessary.
The soup will keep, tightly sealed in a nice cold fridge, for up to a week. Reheat without boiling in the microwave or on the stovetop.
What to serve with chicken poblano soup
- Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins
- A simple salad like this one, if you like
- Maybe some brownies for dessert
- 4 medium poblano peppers
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large yellow onion, diced small
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced (no need to peel)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or ground carne asada seasoning
- 10 ounces corn kernels (frozen is fine)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 pint half and half
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Char the poblanos by placing them directly on the flames of a gas burner, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides. (If you don't have gas burners, you can char them under the broiler or on a grill.) Place charred poblanos into a large bowl, top bowl with plastic wrap or a plate that fits tightly, and let the poblanos steam until they're relatively cool. Then, using a damp paper towel or your fingers, peel off and discard the blackened skin.
- Dice peeled poblanos, removing inner ribs and seeds.
- In a heavy 5-quart pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened but not browned, about five minutes.
- Stir in garlic and cook one minute more.
- Add broth, raw chicken tenders, and potatoes to pot and raise heat to high until liquid comes to a boil. Then reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until chicken is just opaque throughout. (This should only take a few minutes.) Remove chicken to a plate or cutting board, cool slightly, and shred with two forks.
- Add salt, cumin, and chili powder, and continue simmering until potatoes are tender.
- Add corn and beans, along with reserved diced poblanos and shredded chicken, and simmer until warmed through.
- Off the heat, stir in half and half, lime juice, and cilantro.
- Poblanos generally are not very spicy, but occasionally they can be. Taste yours once you've removed the charred skin to make sure they're about as spicy as you think they are. If they're super-hot, you can use less than the recipe calls for. If they're disappointingly mild, you can include some of the ribs and seeds in the soup to amp up the heat. (Poblanos are very flavorful even when mild, so the soup will have great flavor even without that additional heat — but just sayin.)
- If using chicken tenders, remove the tough white tendon before cooking, but otherwise leave them whole. If using boneless, skinless chicken breast if you like, cut into strips before cooking.
- Chicken poblano soup will keep for about a week in the fridge. If you plan to eat it over the course of a few days, it's a good idea to hold off on adding the lime juice and cilantro until you're ready to eat each serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 15.7gCarbohydrates: 44.5gFiber: 9.1gProtein: 28.9g