There's something about roasted peppers that can add so much depth of flavor to recipes -- especially when you use them in unexpected ways. I had extra potatoes and a leek left over from other recipes cooked earlier in the week, so I thought I would make a potato leek soup, a simple recipe and a classic favorite. But I also had a couple poblano peppers sitting on the counter that I didn't have any plans for. I figured I would try something different and give my old-fashioned soup a bit of a kick by fire-roasting the peppers and adding them in. It gave the soup a fantastic flavor, and hardly added any more time or work to the original plan.

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook time: 25 minutes 

Total time: 40 minutes 

Yields: 4-6 servings

Creamy Potato, Leek and Roasted Poblano Pepper Soup


  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, just the white and light green portions, sliced
  • 8-10 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking directions

  1. Roast your poblano peppers. You can do this on a grill or simply over your stove top. Skewer the peppers long-way using bamboo or metal skewers. Place over a burner on high flame. Continuously turn the peppers as they blacken. When blackened, remove from the flame and cover with a clean towel to let them sweat. After about 10 minutes, remove the towel and peel off the blackened skin. Slit the peppers and remove the seeds, then roughly chop the peppers. Set aside.
  2. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the leeks. Cook until softened but not browned. Add the potatoes, roasted peppers, vegetable stock, cayenne pepper, thyme, and a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until creamy. If using a blender, puree the soup in batches. Return to the soup pot and heat on low until hot again. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Pour into bowls, garnish with a bit of thyme and olive oil, or perhaps a dash of Tobasco sauce for a spicy kick, and enjoy!

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Creamy Potato, Leek and Roasted Poblano Pepper Soup
Adding the poblano peppers to this classic soup really kicks up the flavor.