This Hatch Green Chile and Black Bean soup is ready in less than a half hour, and is a deliciously filling weeknight meal that packs a nutritional punch. It also makes great leftovers!
What are Hatch Green Chiles?
Hatch chiles are one of life’s little gifts.
Grown in the Hatch Valley in New Mexico, they ripen in the fall and are a staple of southwestern cuisine. David Tanis, in an article for Saveur entitled “Inside New Mexico’s Hatch Green Chile Obsession” explains that Hatch chiles:
To be called Hatch, the chiles must be grown in the Hatch Valley. But since the name Hatch has cachet among chile-lovers, “Hatch-type” chiles are now grown in Colorado, Arizona, and Texas. Some are grown across the border in Mexico and there are even so-called Hatch chiles being produced in China. Lawmakers have passed ordinances allowing true New Mexico chiles to be labeled as such, but there is still heated litigation regarding who can legally call their chile Hatch, and that little war is ongoing. Tanis, Saveur
Tanis points out, too, that, “With so much emphasis on green chiles, it’s easy to forget that at some point all green chiles ripen and turn a brilliant red. There’s a short window when fresh red chiles can be roasted and peeled, but most ripe red chiles are used dried, sometimes braided into garlands called ristras.”
This Hatch Green Chile harvest is one of my top culinary bucket list items. I would love to be there when the chilies are harvested and roasted one day.
There’s even a Hatch Green Chile Festival!
This article, “Types of Green (or Fresh) Chiles” on The Spruce talks about different types of green chilies, or fresh chilies, and points out that the Hatch Chili is “virtually identical to California and Anaheim peppers, with one distinct difference: they are much, much hotter.” There are, however, mild, medium, hot, and extra hot varieties of Hatch Chiles.
So if you’re not a fan of a lot of heat don’t worry. There’s room within the Hatch chile for your desired level of heat.
While I personally enjoy quite a lot of heat, to me, Hatch green chiles are delicious because they are packed with bright pepper flavor as well as heat. In other words, they are warming, or hot, but that isn’t the only thing you get from the pepper.
But if I can’t get to the Hatch Valley…
It is possible to buy authentic Hatch Chiles online now. Too, I actually found them at a local mainstream supermarket this year. I have heard cases of some supermarkets trying to pass of other chiles, like the aforementioned Anaheims, as Hatch chiles though, so caveat emptor (buyer beware).
When in doubt, consider one of those online sources.
Ordering online is too much. Can I substitute?
I have made this soup with many different types of chiles. Regular old jalapeños work, as do Anaheims. When I use something besides the Hatch Chile, though, I typically do a blend of peppers. For instance, I’ll use poblanos and jalapeños, or jalapeños and Anaheims, or maybe even all three if I’m making it for just my husband and I.
Neither of us mind heat!
And when in doubt, or desperate, canned green chiles or even some salsa verde will work.
In other words, this soup is easily adapted to your pantry, the season, and your palate.
The Hatch Green Chile and Black Bean Soup
The soup itself is creamy without needing any cream added. It is, in fact, vegan. However, for us non-vegans, I like to top my Hatch Green Chile and Black Bean Soup with goat cheese crumbles, because I think that pairs nicely with the zing from the chiles.
The black beans get pureed making a nice, velvety texture and the chilies add brightness, and a level of freshness. It’s ready in just the amount of time it takes to open some cans and slice and dice some peppers. At least if you have one of these hand blenders it is.
Seriously, this blender is one of my kitchen appliances that gets used THE MOST. I’ve had it for years and it’s very affordable. It makes having restaurant worthy soups at home as easy as plugging this thing in.
And it makes this Hatch Green Chile and Black Bean Soup easy peasy!
We really like soup in my house.
It’s a quick, nutritious way to pack in the veg and its comforting without being too too decadent.
Not that I don’t occasionally make a decadent soup. So stay tuned friends, stay tuned. The holidays and proper soup season is coming!
Have you had Hatch Chiles? Does your family enjoy weeknight soups? Let me know in the comments!
Hatch Green Chile and Black Bean Soup Recipe
- 4 Cans Black Beans, drained
- 1 16 ounce Carton Vegetable Stock
- 2 Medium Hatch Chilies, diced May substitute poblano, jalapeno, Anaheim, or canned chilies, or a combination of these.
- 1 Large Onion, diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes Optional
- Saute chiles and onion in a stock pot over medium heat until soft.
- Add garlic and saute for one minute longer.
- Add black beans and stock.
- Add salt, black pepper, and red chili if using.
- Bring to a simmer and simmer for ten minutes.
- Puree using a hand blender, or pour soup carefully into a regular stand blender. Be very careful - soup is hot!
- Serve hot, and top with more diced onion and chili, goat cheese, yogurt, sour cream, or other desired topping.