Spooktacular Idaho® Potato Soup
- 3 medium green bell peppers, rinsed, pat dry, cut in half lengthwise (about 1 pound total)
- 2 medium poblano chilies, rinsed and pat dry (about 6 ounces total)*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound Idaho® potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro plus 12 cilantro leaves for garnish
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 10-12 drops red food coloring
- 6 pepperoncini peppers, halved lengthwise
- 12 capers
- Preheat broiler.
- Place the bell pepper halves and poblano peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Broil 15 minutes, or until lightly charred, turning the baking sheet midway to brown peppers evenly. Place peppers in a medium bowl. Cover and let stand 25 minutes to allow flavors to absorb and cool slightly.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Cook the onions and celery 4 minutes or until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Set aside.
- Remove the skin from the peppers and place the "meat" of the peppers in the saucepan. Stir in the potatoes and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover and simmer 13-15 minutes or until celery is tender. Remove from heat. Working in 1-cup batches, place pepper mixture in blender with the cilantro, secure lid, hold lid down tightly and puree until smooth. Return to the saucepan, add the half and half. Place over medium heat and cook 2-3 minutes or until heated. Add salt to taste.
- In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the soup with the food coloring and set aside.
- Spoon equal amounts of the soup (about 1 cup) in each of 6 soup bowls. Place two cilantro leaves on the top portion of the soup to form the "eyelashes". Using a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon, spoon onto the edge of each piece of cilantro to form the "eyeballs". Place a pepperoncini half in the center for the "nose" and two capers for the "pupils".
- *Note: The poblano chilies provide a mild heat to the dish. For a milder dish, substitute the poblano chili peppers with 1 additional green bell pepper.