This soup is like a baked potato in a bowl, but with Mexican flavors. In other words - amazing! Canned green chiles add the perfect amount of heat, and diced bell peppers are a pop of color to keep your bowl from being a boring beige. The potatoes puree into a silky texture along with cream and sour cream - not gloppy at all, as potato soups can sometimes be. I used light sour cream here, and you can likely get away with using half-and-half or milk in place of the cream if you want to lighten up the soup a bit (admittedly, it is very rich). Top the soup with creamy avocado for a little more color and a cool contrast to the hot soup.
A note on leftovers - I was worried this soup would not reheat well, but it actually heated up beautifully and didn't get too thick or gummy - I think the cream helped a lot with this. Just heat over a gentle flame and add a bit more liquid if it looks like it needs it.
Mexican Potato Soup (adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest)
4 medium (3-inch diameter) potatoes (Yukon Gold work well)
3 cups water
1 T olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
4-ounce can fire-roasted diced green chiles (I used Trader Joe's brand)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cream
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large avocado, diced
1. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Bring the water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt, and add the potatoes. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside (don't dump the water).
2. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute until softened and starting to brown. Add the bell pepper, chiles, cumin, basil, and garlic. Add a few grinds of black pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are all tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Puree the potatoes in their cooking water - an immersion blender is easiest, but a regular blender or food processor will work as well. Add the puree to the pot of vegetables and stir to combine. Add the cream and sour cream and stir vigorously to combine.
4. Gently heat the soup until hot, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve hot, topped with diced avocado.