We’ve been on a little bit of a soup kick lately at the Griffin household. Not really sure why. It hasn’t really been cold enough, but for some reason we’ve just been craving it. This week, Mrs. G wanted to try and recreate a cream of jalapeno soup from the Blue Quail Deli located the quaint downtown district of Goliad, Texas. She’s tried to make a few different versions over the years. Some closer than others, but I think she nailed it with this one. I’ll hand the blog over to her so she can tell you all about it.
“There’s a great deli called The Blue Quail in Goliad, Tx, where our family ranch is and they make a dynamite cream of jalapeño soup. It’s a bowl of spicy, cheesy goodness that I must have when I’m in town. My mom, sister and I love to go shopping at the cute downtown square and stop in for a light lunch…especially during fall and winter because this soup really warms you up on a cold day! We’ve been going there for years and we usually buy a quart of soup to take home with us for later. That’s how good it is!
It’s been my goal to replicate their recipe and I think I finally have….Well, I’m pretty darn close anyway. The Blue Quail soup packs more of a punch in the heat department…too much in my opinion. I would probably use the seeds of one or two jalapeños next time but not enough that I need a tissue while eating it like I do with their soup. The great thing is you can control the heat level to your tastes.
Mr. G and I will be at the ranch over Thanksgiving and Christmas so I do plan on stopping by The Blue Quail and grilling them on their famous Cream of Jalapeño soup. They don’t like to give away any secrets, that’s for sure.
Allright, I’m back now and I know what you are probably thinking. 5 jalapenos? Wouldn’t that be a spicy soup? We actually only used 4 and once you remove the seeds and membranes, you’ve removed a majority of the heat. This soup was not spicy at all. In fact, we ended up adding some cayenne, ancho and chipotle powder to add extra heat. Let’s get on with the recipe, now.
- 1/2 of an onion
- 3 carrots
- 4 jalapenos
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (two fourteen ounce cans)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 6 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded
- 8 oz extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 Tbsp of butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour (=1 for thickening, if needed)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional seasonings: cayenne, chipotle chile pepper powder and/or ancho chile powder
- Grate about two cups of cheese,around 16 oz (We’ve talked about using pre-shredded cheeses before. They are coated with “stuff” to prevent them from clumping in the bag. This “stuff” also prevents them from melting smoothly and will cause your soup to be grainy. Do NOT use pre-shredded, especially in this soup).
- Cut the tops off the jalapenos and remove the seeds and veins. Roughly chop up the jalapenos, carrots and onion.
- Toss the carrots into a food processor and pulse until you reach the consistency in the above picture. Remove the carrots into a skillet and repeat the process with the jalapenos and onion. Add 1 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp of olive oil and saute on medium heat until they soften.
- In a large stockpot, melt 3 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the 3 Tbsp of flour 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. You should have a light blonde roux at this point.
- Slowly add in the chicken stock and heavy cream, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Stir in the shredded cheeses and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Next, add in the sautéed vegetables (Do not be alarmed as the soup turns a yellowish color at this point. That is expected).
- Once, the veggies have been stirred in, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low and allow to cook for at least one hour. After an hour, adjust seasonings to taste.
After an hour, we gave the soup a stir and noticed it had thickened up nicely. If yours still seems a bit runny, you can add another Tbsp of flour. We gave it a taste and found it to be surprisingly mild, not like the soup at the Blue Quail which can be down right too spicy on some days. To adjust, we added in a dash of cayenne and about an 1/8 tsp each of chipotle and ancho chile powder. That seemed to do the trick.
Soups aren’t always the most photogenic, so you are going to have to trust me on this one. This is one killer soup. Creamy and spicy. The sweetness of the carrots add a bit of a cooling factor to offset the heat. A perfect soup to warm the body on a cold and stormy night (not that it was cold or stormy the night we made this, I’m just imagining it). If soup isn’t enough to fill you up, serve it up with a sandwich or a Panini just like they do at the Blue Quail. And if you ever find yourself in Goliad, stop by the Blue Quail, try their Cream of Jalapeno Soup and let me know how you think it compares to our version.