Saturday, September 29, 2012

Recipe: Green Chile Stew

Image from American Potager
I made my very first Green Chile Stew yesterday afternoon. I wrote all about the history of green chile stew on This, That, and the Other, but I wanted to post my recipe here for anyone and everyone interested in this fine New Mexican comfort food.

When Ian came home from work and tasted the stew, simmering on the stove, he walked into the bedroom where I was nursing Felicity, and told me the taste of it actually choked him up (and not, I think, because it was too spicy, though this soup is hella hot). I write this to a) show how awesome I am, and b) to exemplify that this is an authentic tasting New Mexican recipe, even though I'm super-pale and hail from Minnesota.

That said, I absolutely cannot tolerate the heat of this soup. I am a baby and load it down with vegan "sour cream" and tortilla chips, which is delicious. This revokes my status as an honorary New Mexican, and for that, I apologize.

Green Chile Stew

If you want the real deal, you need to use green chiles from Hatch, New Mexico. You can buy them online and get them shipped to you by the pound - raw, roasted and peeled, or frozen. Ian states that, "Under great duress you could use canned green chiles." You would need approximately 30-35 ounces to make this soup rock. For instructions on roasting green chiles at home, see this link

A meat substitute is completely optional - the stew will taste great without it - but it does add a little something and gives it a more authentic feeling. I used Beefless Tips from Gardein (found in the frozen section of our local Whole Foods), which I browned and sliced before adding towards the end of the cooking time, but vegan chorizo would be good (I strongly recommend Trader Joes), or even 1/2 cup of TVP/TSP.


Roughly 1.5-2 lbs New Mexican green chiles, roasted, peeled, and diced (seeds included, my lovelies!) (see note above)
3 Tablespoons oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced/crushed garlic
4 large red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1-2 carrots, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (optional)
4 cups vegetable broth ("beef" flavored, if possible)
meat substitute of your choice (optional but recommended)


Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom completely. Add the onions and a good pinch or two of salt, stirring them to evenly coat in the oil. Continue to cook over medium heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft and starting to caramelize. If they are browning too quickly, reduce the heat a bit. Add garlic, and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until fragrant.

Add the potatoes and carrots. Bring heat back to medium if you reduced it before. Cook for about five minutes, just to give the veggies a quick brown. Pour in the broth and add the green chiles, stirring everything. Keep over medium heat until the stew reaches a nice simmer. Then reduce heat to low, and cover.

Let the soup simmer for a good hour or two, stirring occasionally to avoid burning/sticking. The potatoes and carrots (if you're using them) should be falling apart and really thickening the stew. If you want, take a hand-held masher and give three or four good mashes to the pot. You want lots of potato chunks, but the stew should also be thick and lovely.

Towards the end of your cooking time, say 20 minutes before you want to serve, add your meat substitute, if you're using one. Stir to incorporate, and continue to simmer over low heat. If you feel the stew is a little too thick at this point, feel free to add a little more broth, or some water.

Five minutes before serving, take the stew off of the heat, and allow to rest. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with your favorite vegan sour cream (if you're wimpy like me), and some fine tortilla chips.

Serves 6-8, about 250-300 calories and 8 grams of protein before added meat replacement, sour cream, and chips. High in fiber, potassium, and Vitamins A and C.

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