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Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup (Easy Recipe)

Say goodbye to bland weeknight soup. This easy roasted poblano chicken soup is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly evening. The unique and balanced flavors start with a savory and tangy broth with pantry staples. The star of the show, smokey charred poblano peppers, combine with black beans and sweet corn for a hearty soup with many layers of flavor.

To top it off, I like to add a few fresh-cut chunks of fresh sourdough bread. The bread soaks up the soup’s creamy broth, making a perfect topping. The leftover soup is great for a quick lunch reheated the next day. In our household, it’s always soup season.

Ingredients needed

Poblano pepper soup ingredients

All of the ingredients needed for this soup can be found at the grocery store. If you are not growing your own poblanos, you can usually find them in the produce section.

  • Roasted poblano peppers – It wouldn’t be a poblano chicken soup without fresh poblano peppers. The peppers are roasted and peeled in this recipe for an incredible sweet and smoky flavor.
  • Yellow onion – You can also use a white onion in this recipe, but we find yellow yields the best flavor.
  • Garlic cloves – Use freshly peeled and chopped garlic for the best flavor payoff.
  • Cumin – Cumin adds a layer of smokiness that complements the roasted peppers perfectly.
  • Oregano – A small amount of oregano adds a sweet, earthy tone to this delicious soup.
  • Chicken broth – You can also use vegetable broth for this recipe. If using low-sodium broth, you may need to add a small amount of salt at the end of cooking to enhance the flavor.
  • Mild green chili enchilada sauce – We tried this recipe with red sauce and it didn’t work as well. Any brand of green chili enchilada sauce will work, usually found in the international aisle, or online.
  • Yellow corn – You can use frozen corn or canned. This soup wouldn’t be the same without the sweet crunch that corn adds.
  • Black beans – Black beans add protein and fiber while contributing to the hearty texture of this soup.
  • Diced chicken breast – Use flavorful chicken like rotisserie for the best soup possible. The tender chunks of chicken are delicious in this chicken poblano soup recipe.
  • Milk or heavy cream – You can use whole milk, but heavy cream will result in a thicker, creamier texture.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste

How to make this creamy chicken poblano soup

Poblano pepper and chicken soup recipe

Roasting the peppers

Place the whole poblano peppers on a cookie sheet lined with foil and broil for about 5 minutes per side or until they are blackened and blistered. You can also char the peppers on a dry cast iron pan, or over an open flame on a gas burner.

Carefully remove and place the peppers in an airtight container for 15-20 minutes.

Once cooled, gently remove the char and loose skin from the peppers, then deseed and dice the peppers into bite sized pieces.

Preparing the soup

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the diced onion. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the diced poblanos, corn, cumin, and oregano, and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Gently fold in the chunks of chicken and black beans. Add chicken stock and green enchilada sauce, and stir. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Turn off heat.

Now is a good time to taste and see if additional salt and pepper is needed. You may need to add additional salt if you used a low sodium broth.

With the heat still off, stir in the heavy cream. Serve warm and enjoy!

Serving and garnish ideas

Poblano pepper and chicken soup recipe

There are many ways to serve up this chicken poblano soup. It is delicious served with some cornbread or a garden salad and garnished with any of the following toppings:

  • Green onions
  • Hot sauce
  • Homemade tortilla chips or crispy tortilla strips
  • Sour cream
  • Pepper jack cheese or shredded cheddar 
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sliced jalapeño peppers

Kitchen test notes

Roasting the pepper instead of charring it:  Charring the poblano pepper adds a much deeper flavor. While roasting on a sheet pan is easier, the flavor payoff isn’t quite as good.

Poblano soup test batch

The addition of cream or milk: I wouldn’t recommend making this soup without the addition of milk or cream. It levels up the broth, resulting in a creamy soup with multiple layers of flavors. 

Poblano soup test batch

Addition of smoked paprika: The addition of smoked paprika to this soup resulted in a slightly bitter flavor. It tastes much better with the smoky flavor coming from the cumin and charred poblanos.

Recipes tips and FAQs

Poblano pepper and chicken soup recipe

Use fresh poblano peppers, not jarred – Roasting or charring poblanos intensifies their natural flavors and brings out their sweetness while also imparting a subtle charred aroma. On the other hand, jarred poblano peppers, although convenient, may lack some of the depth and complexity of flavor that fresh roasted peppers have.

Why use green enchilada sauce?  – This is a very versatile pantry staple. Enchilada sauce is already packed with a variety of mouthwatering flavors like tangy tomatillos, mild green chile, and savory spices that complement the soup. The sauce saves you the trouble of developing these layers of flavor from scratch. Enchilada sauce also provides a nice rich consistency, giving your poblano soup texture without the need for creating a roux or blending.

Using heavy cream instead of milk – The addition of heavy cream can certainly be optional but, I don’t want you to miss out. Cream rounds out the tangy and savory notes of the soup with its silky texture and slightly sweet flavor.

Remove as much of the char as possible – While it does look nice, the burnt parts of your charred poblanos are actually very bitter. The good flavor is within the pepper after roasting.

Be very careful when stirring the black beans and chicken. Try to keep them from becoming mashed or torn as they are incorporated into the soup.

Storage and reheating

Due to the dairy content, this soup does not freeze very well. To store, allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Then, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pan on the stove for best results, or in the microwave.

Want more spicy soup recipes?

Poblano pepper and chicken soup recipe

Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup

Roasted poblano peppers and a delicious, creamy broth make up this hearty comfort dish.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Poblano soup
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 poblano peppers roasted skinned, de-seeded, and diced
  • 1 yellow onion diced fine
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 can yellow corn 1-2 cups
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chopped chicken breast rotisserie is ideal
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 10 oz mild green chile enchilada sauce 1 can
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Roasting The Peppers

  • Place peppers on a cookie sheet lined with foil and broil for about 5 minutes per side or until they begin to blacken and blister. This can also be done over the flame of a gas burner, or on a dry cast iron skillet.
    Roasted poblano peppers for soup
  • Carefully remove roasted peppers and place in an airtight container for about 15 minutes to steam. This helps loosen the skin while the peppers cool.
  • Once cooled, remove as much of the char and loose skin from the peppers as possible. Then, deseed and dice the peppers.
    Chopped poblano peppers for soup

Preparing The Soup

  • Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Then, add garlic and stir until fragrant.
    Onions cooking in pan for poblano chicken soup
  • Add diced poblanos, corn, cumin, oregano and stir until fragrant.
  • Gently fold in chopped chicken and black beans, careful not to over-shred the chicken.
    Chicken poblano soup ingredients in pan
  • Add chicken stock and green enchilada sauce. Stir and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
    Chicken poblano soup broth
  • Turn off heat. This is a good time to taste and see if additional salt and pepper is needed.
  • Off the heat, stir in the heavy cream.
    Adding cream to chicken poblano soup
  • Serve warm and enjoy!


  • Peeling the poblanos can be messy. Be sure to wash your hands afterwards with dish soap to avoid the possibility of skin irritation.
  • Dicing the chicken is best for a robust texture. Avoid shredding the chicken as it is added to the soup.
  • Heavy cream is more tasty, but for a healthier option, whole milk works well.
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