Recipes from Napa: Pea and Poblano Bisque

3/25/2017 6:20:41 AM

Recipes from Napa: Pea and Poblano Bisque

Lunch on the patio begins with a small bisque. After having toured the cave, guests are generally a little cold. Arriving to the table with a warm bisque waiting is a comforting welcome. We vary the bisque depending on the season and like to feature vegetables from our garden. Also, starting a meal with a bisque is an easy first course; they’re made in advance and are simple to serve.



My mother’s best friend, Rosina, is from Mexico City. When we lived in Texas she was our next-door neighbor, with only a gate separating the two houses. That gate was always unlocked. Whenever my mother was too busy to cook, Rosina would volunteer to bring over some of her dinner. My brother and I relished all the decadent Mexican cuisine that came through that gate. This soup was one of my favorites; the combination of fresh green peas and the heat from the poblano peppers make it addictive. Just be careful with the chilies — their heat can vary from one pepper to the next, so add them judiciously if you want a milder version.


1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil to medium. Add the onion and garlic; sauté, but do not brown. Add the peppers and lightly sauté. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the peas and tarragon, simmer until heated through; do not allow the peas to overcook, or the soup will be gray.

2. Remove from heat. In small batches, puree the soup in a blender. Pour soup over a sieve and return to the stockpot. Add the shredded cheese and salt to taste. Just prior to serving, bring up to a low simmer, taking care not to overheat or the color will become gray. Garnish with crème fraiche.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 yellow onions, medium diced

6 cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped

3 poblano peppers, roasted and peeled

6 cups chicken broth

24 ounces frozen green peas, thawed

1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded

Sea salt, to taste
Crème fraiche, for garnishing