This recipe is best made ahead of time, so the flavors have more time to mingle in the refrigerator. Three types of chiles, both fresh and canned, bring different kinds of heat, earthiness and sweetness to the pot. If you can get Hatch chiles, by all means use them. Pepper aficionados love them so much they travel in droves to a New Mexico festival celebrating their fall harvest. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Source: EatingWell Magazine, Soup Cookbook

Kathy Gunst
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Ingredients

Directions

  • Char peppers (or chiles) directly over a gas flame, flipping them over from time to time so they blacken on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. (Alternatively, preheat broiler to high. Place peppers on a baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until the skin blisters, 6 to 10 minutes total.) Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and steam for 5 minutes to loosen the skins. Remove and discard skin, core and seeds and coarsely chop the flesh. Set aside.

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  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Season pork with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Cook half the pork until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and the remaining pork; transfer to the bowl.

  • Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onions and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved peppers, canned chiles and jalapeño to taste; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Return the pork to the pot and add oregano, bay leaves, broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook until the pork is just about fork-tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

  • Add potatoes and 1/2 cup cilantro; cover and cook over low heat until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 30 minutes more. Skim the fat from the top of the soup, if desired. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Serve topped with the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro.

Tips

To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts

380 calories; 22.3 g total fat; 7.1 g saturated fat; 99 mg cholesterol; 570 mg sodium. 614 mg potassium; 15.9 g carbohydrates; 1.8 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 28.1 g protein; 257 IU vitamin a iu; 36 mg vitamin c; 14 mcg folate; 52 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 41 mg magnesium;

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