Hatch chilies have been a newer addition to the summer garden in the last few years. They are very easy to grow (at least where I live in the rural Portland, Oregon area) and are such a nice addition to my current garden favs (tomatoes, zucchini, sugar snap peas, beans, onions, garlic).
From Fresh Market a few facts about Hatch chilies:
- One fresh, medium-sized pepper has as much Vitamin C as six oranges.
- How hot is a Hatch? The Scoville Scale measures the relative heat of hot peppers, and most Hatch chiles score between 1,500 and 2,500 units—about the same level of heat as poblano or Anaheim peppers.
- Hatch chilis are named for the region they are typically grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico.
A few favorite ways to use these peppers:
- Add chopped chilies into scrambled eggs, omelets, or frittatas
- Finely chop and add to homemade salsa and relish
- Fold into your biscuits, breads, and cornbread batters
- Blend with your favorite Bloody Mary mix for an extra kick
- And add to soup ingredients (see below)
The cooler weather of December begs for soups and warm meals. And having a batch of hatch chilies and tomatillo tomatoes in the freezer from our summer harvest I had the perfect ingredients to create this dish.
Hatch a Batch of Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 4 medium tomatillo tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup white or yellow onion chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves (about 1 tablespoon) minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1 14 1/2 oz chicken broth
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup hatch chilies, roasted, seeded (about 2) diced
- 1 cup cooked chicken shredded
- 2 corn tortillas torn into large strips
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
Slice tomatoes in half and place cut side down onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Broil for about 5 minutes or until the skins char.
Preheat a dutch oven over medium heat. Add remaining olive oil and onions, cooking for about 5 minutes or until onions soften. Add garlic and cumin, cooking for another minute.
Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pan. Pour in chicken broth and stir well. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. If desired, blend half the soup ingredients in a blender and add them back to the pot. Stir in chicken and roasted chilies.
Simmer for another 10-15 minutes adding the corn tortillas to melt into the soup. Top with chopped cilantro.