Cooking: Green Chilie Chicken Soup

Every year, a local grocery store, Central Market, has an event called Hatch Fest and it lasts for about two weeks. I look VERY forward to it each year. Hatch chilies are one of my most favorite foods. I do not enjoy desserts made with hatch chilies, but will eat just about anything else. If you can dream it up, they probably sell it at CM during Hatch Week.

That being said, in their cafe (love it!), they serve dishes that feature hatch Chiles too. I've been a few times this fest, and so far my all time favorite dish has been their Chile Chicken Soup. It's creamy, light, is loaded with pieces of chilies, and has nice bite size pieces of chicken. Of course, Central Market does not sell or distribute this recipe (even after I offered an insane amount of money for it to both the deli and cafe managers - it was THAT good). So, I set out to try and create it myself.

I am happy to report, that my version was VERY close to the one I was served at CM, and good enough for me to not even think about making any additional changes to satisfy my taste buds. It is a simple recipe, that really only took about 10 minutes to get going and 30 minutes to simmer. Here you go - enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 C Butter or Margarine (Smart Balance is what I used)
3/4 C All-Purpose Flour (I was out of regular so I used wheat - the color was just a bit off)
2 C Milk (I used one large can of evaporated, and then added regular to make up the difference)
4 C Chicken Broth (that's one box, if you're using store bought)
2 C Cooked, boneless and skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 C Chopped Green Chile Peppers (if you roasted or froze your own into ice cubes, use at least 8 of them)
1/2 C Potato Flakes or Buds
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot melt butter or margarine. Add flour and stir the resulting paste over medium heat. Add the milk and chicken broth and whip to eliminate any lumps. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Add the chicken. Add the chopped green chiles, potato flakes, salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Stir well and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes and serve.
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