- 4 large plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 cups Vegetable Stock
- 6 medium poblano chiles
- 6 medium fresh Anaheim chiles
- 3 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup amber beer, such as Dos Equis
- 2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons achiote paste, optional (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro plus 1/4 cup whole leaves for garnish
- 1/2 cup crumbled tangy white cheese, such as queso fresco, ricotta salata or a dry goat cheese
- Preheat the broiler. Arrange the tomato halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet and drizzle with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Broil for about 3 minutes, or until the skins are charred. Transfer the broiled tomatoes to a large nonreactive saucepan, add the Vegetable stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the stock.
- Meanwhile, roast the poblano and Anaheim chiles directly over a gas flame or under the broiler until charred all over. Transfer the chiles to a paper bag and let steam for 5 minutes. Peel the chiles and discard the stems, ribs and seeds. Cut the chiles and discard the stems, ribs and seeds. Cut the chiles into 2-by-1/4-inch strips.
- Heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in the large nonreactive saucepan. Add the onions, jalapeños and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beer and boi for 3 minutes. Add the strained stock, roasted chiles, potatoes, lime juice, achiote paste and sugar. Lower the heat to moderate and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with the cheese and cilantro leaves.
The soup can be refrigerated for 1 day. Rewarm before serving.
Achiote paste, made from annatto seeds, adds an ocher color to the soup; it's available at Latin American markets.