Hatch Season at FRESH

Hatch is here & it’s time to stock up on everyone’s favorite chile pepper! It’s one of the most versatile ingredients and can be used in so many recipes. At FRESH we celebrate Hatch season by adding them to several of our chef-prepared dishes and fresh meat and fish products. We also provide in-house roasted chiles and as many fresh chiles from produce as you need for a year’s worth of recipes.

I like to stock up and roast several at a time. Then, remove the skins, cut a slit in the side and remove the seeds. You can freeze them whole or roughly chop. It really depends on how you want to use them. Here are some tips for your pepper prep and storage.

  • Roast whole at 450 for 20 minutes. Turn over after 10 minutes. For an added smoky flavor you can roast them on the grill or in the smoker.
  • After roasting, immediately place in a large plastic bag. Seal the bag and keep closed for 20 minutes. Remove each pepper and peel off the skin.
  • After removing the skins, freeze whole or cut off the tops and clean out the seeds. Freeze the whole peppers individually on a tray and then transfer to a plastic bag for storage. Alternately, roughly chop the peppers and fill sandwich bags with 1 cup each of chopped peppers. Push air out of bag, seal and freeze flat. Once frozen, place all the small bags into one large bag.
  • A general rule is that 1 average size pepper will equal 1/4 cup chopped or pureed. This will help you plan how many peppers to purchase and freeze.

Once the summer heat is over and cooler temperatures are here, this new recipe for a Hatch soup is something you will really enjoy. You can also add rice and chicken to this for Hatch Chile Stew. There you go, a reason to stock up and enjoy Hatch all year long!

Hatch Chile & Avocado Soup

  • 8 Hatch chiles (2 cups roasted and chopped)
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Tortilla strips, for serving
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Flour tortillas, for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place chiles on a baking sheet and put in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, turning once, until the skin of the chiles is blistered. Immediately place chiles in a large plastic bag and keep closed for 15 minutes. Pour the chiles and any liquid from the bag into a bowl. Discard skin, seed and stems. Reserve flesh of chiles and any liquid from the chiles.

In a saucepan, add the oil, onion and garlic. Sauté over low heat until soft. Turn off the heat. Add the chiles to the pan, avocado and lime juice. Add 1 cup of broth and puree with an immersion blender or transfer ingredients to a blender. Once smooth, cook over medium heat and add remaining broth to desired consistency. Add the salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add the half and half and turn off the heat. Garnish with tortilla strips and fresh cilantro. Serve with sour cream, chips or flour tortillas.

Note: Turn into a stew by adding cooked rice and chicken. Add more broth to desired consistency.

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