Hatch Chile Obsessed: Texas Sweet Onion and Hatch Chile Soup

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Recently I walked into Central Market to pick up a few things (famous last words) when I froze in the produce aisle and squealed, yes, out loud, like a sorority girl. What could make me do this? Hatch Green Chiles. Woo hoo!

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I adore Hatch Chiles. I buy a box, roast and freeze them almost every year. It’s almost, but not quite, as exciting as the first snap of the football each year. And, I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that two of my favorite things occur about the same time each year. It’s fall bliss.
I decided that for my first Hatch recipe this year I would play with the traditional French onion soup recipe. Maybe it’s the onslaught of the Julie & Julia media or the piles of beautiful onions at the farmers markets lately, but French onion soup had been on my mind. Of course, I couldn’t do something ordinary so I decided to Hatch-up the recipe.
I added Hatch green chiles to the final mix which added a nice heat to the sweet onions. With the heat, I didn’t want to do a traditional crouton so I made a Monterrey Jack Tostada topper instead.
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It was lip smacking good. I used hot Hatch chiles, but they were very hot so if you have a more delicate palate, use the mild chiles.
If you are curious about Hatch chiles, I highly recommend the Hatch Chile Fest at Central Market the next two weekends (8/21-8/23 and 8/28-8/30). My personal favorite is the Hatch chile burgers and the Hatch chile cheese scones. Yum…
Texas Sweet Onion and Hatch Chile Soup
1/2 cup of salted butter (do not substitute – seriously, the caramelized onions will not taste the same. Suck it up and walk an extra mile that day to work off the butter.)
4-6 sweet onions, sliced thin
4 Hatch Chiles roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
5 cups broth (I used chicken, but you can use beef or vegetable if
you prefer)
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
about 2 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese (you could also use cotija or queso fresco)
4-6 tostadas
082009_3Over low heat, melt the butter in a large stock pot. Add the onions and stir them well to coat them with butter. Cover the onions and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender.
Remove the cover from the pot. Taste the onions and salt if necessary. Raise the heat a bit and saute the onions until they turn caramel brown. Stir them often so that they do not burn. This will take about an hour.
Add the hatch chiles and stir to combine well. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
While the soup is cooking, preheat the broiler. When the soup is finished, ladle it in oven-proof bowls and sprinkle cheese on top. Place the soup under the broiler. While the soup is broiling, top the tostadas with cheese. When the cheese on the soup is bubbly, remove the soup from the broiler, place the tostadas under the broiler until the cheese is cooked. Remove the tostadas and top each soup bowl with its own tostada.
Enjoy, and try not to burn the rough of your mouth.
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