When I moved to Georgia after college, the two things that I missed the most (other than family and friends) were mountains and chile. There are mountains in north Georgia, but they are so ancient and eroded that they don’t really count to someone from one of the Rocky Mountain states. Those are hills. There is no chile available, other than the canned Old El Paso, which is wimpy if you are accustomed to the real deal. It works in a pinch, but never quite satisfies the craving for fresh roasted chile.

Like many New Mexican expatriates, I frequently had chile cravings. Friends, trying to alleviate my home sickness, would take me to their favorite Mexican restaurant. I felt obligated to compliment the food, while simultaneously pointing out that it wasn’t the same. Not even close. Several of those friends have come to visit since my return to New Mexico. Now they understand.

There are two clichés that become relevant when you move from your home turf; “out of sight, out of mind” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” For me, the latter was far more applicable. Absence instilled a passion for the culture, the history, the landscapes and the food. That passion became the impetus for launching New Mexico Nomad.

A Better Cure for the Common Cold

Green chile chicken soup simmering on the stoveWhereas others advocate chicken noodle soup to alleviate the misery of the common cold, I recommend cream of green chile chicken soup. The green chile provides a vitamin c boost, relieves blocked sinus passages and, generally, increases sensations of well being and coziness. I normally make a double batch of this soup so I have leftovers for lunch.

You can adjust the heat by varying the amount, or type, of chile used. In California they have a similar soup using mild Anaheim peppers or Poblanos. That doesn’t have the same impact in terms of sinus release or culinary satisfaction. My preference is hot New Mexico green chile, usually Sandia or Barker. These chiles are related to the Anaheim but pack far more heat.

Green Chile Chicken Soup Recipe

Servings: 4


  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour

Melt the butter, stirring in the flour until smooth. Stir regularly to create a roux. Your roux is ready once it begins to tan and smells nutty. Add remaining ingredients.

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 cup of green chile (or peppers of some sort) to taste
  • 1 cup chicken (more if you like a lot of chicken)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Stir until smooth over medium heat for about 1/2 hour and serve.

Please leave your recipe modifications in the comments. I am a big fan of using a recipe as a baseline, modifying as I go.

Back to Recipes

Need Chile?

If you live in an area where the only green chile available is canned, you can order outstanding frozen green chile from the Hatch Chile Store. Hatch Chile Store ships frozen red and green chile nationwide year around. They have mild to hot varieties available. Each package is 1 pound, which is approximately 2 cups.

Increase chile consumption to relieve nasal congestion


  1. All of this sounds so good. Just to clarify – are you adding raw chopped chilis and letting them cook in the simmering soup, or canned?

    • I never used canned chile. Thanks to living in New Mexico, there are always other options. Fresh roasted, chopped is the best, followed closely by frozen, chopped. However, if you only have access to canned chile, that will work. Another alternative is finding other fresh chile with some heat as a substitute.

  2. Chopped red and yellow peppers for color. A few potato’s smashed or leftover mashed potato’s for thickening. Yup, garlic and onions. And of course maybe a tablespoon or two of powdered red. Because you can 🙂

  3. I used your base recipe as is with the following changes to make a Colorado Style Pork Green Chile.
    Parboil several pork chops or about 2 cups of pork stew meat in water seasoned with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder until tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool long enough to easily chop up the pork. Follow the recipe except use the stock from the parboil instead of the chicken broth. Use the chopped pork instead of the chicken. I used about 1.5 cups of the chopped pork instead of one cup as recommended. It was as good as any Pork Green Chile I’ve had out west.

  4. I made this last night, and it was fantastic. I used a grocery store rotisserie chicken to save time and mess, and added green onion, cumin and a can of green chile enchilada sauce. I also used roughly double the chile because, well, I can’t help doing that. I bought three bushels this season and they’re almost gone. Topped it with shredded cheddar and sour cream and used tortillas to scoop it up. The chile was a mix of Big Jim and Dynamite. Thanks for sharing! This is a new favorite.

  5. Added onions and garlic, like other posters. Also used Sandia Hots (Hatch green chile) as we live only a few miles from Hatch so only used half a cup – the Sandia Hots really amped up the heat. Kind of hot soup that makes your nose run and your ears itch, but so good!

  6. Love green Chile potato soup. Your green Chile chicken soup sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing. I do include Monterey Jack to the soup

  7. I’m not sure what pat of GA you moved to but I live just south of Atlanta and you are correct about finding Hatch green chiles! I used to order mine online every year and roast my own, 35# of Big Jim and 35# of Sandra Hot. I always ended up with about 5-10% loss. Two years ago I found that you can order from Fresh Market and choose your date of pickup and I have zero loss. And some locations actually will roast them and prepackage in small containers. I use Fresh Market in Peachtree City but still roast em myself.

  8. I will make this one, for sure. For years I’ve made soups and stews with hot pepper in them. Our family lived for over a decade in central Mexico and loved this kind of food. Unfortunately I don’t have experience with New Mexican cuisine. It sounds wonderful.

    As a matter of course I generally bake a chicken, rabbit or duck, when I first butcher it. When we get close to picking the bones, then I put the carcass in a crock pot of pot on the stove, set on low.I add onions, garlic, salt and pepper to this. We simmer this overnight until the remaining meat is falling off the bones. The next morning I pull it from the heat and, after it has cooled a bit, I pick out all the bones. From there I add my other ingredients and slow cook this until the evening meal.

    I usually add some hot pepper to this stew. But because some members of the household object to much heat, I have to doctor my own, afterwards. My favorite pepper is Murupi Amarela, an habanero type. My wife’s favorite is Chile Rayado, a hotter, smokey flavored jalapeño type, which we brought with us from Mexico.

  9. Oh boy! I didn’t measure the chicken, but I fork shredded it because … New Mexico. Then, in an uncharactistucally cavalier moment, I threw in a can of creamed corn. Some people might say I adulterated it, but once they had a thick and satisfying spoonful, they’d change their tune. Green Sandia hot chiles … about knocked myself out from yum yum yummy-ing. This is a keeper. Thank you!

  10. Definitely gonna try this, as I have 10 pounds of Hatch Chile’s in the freezer. I love the idea of using the roasted chicken from the supermarket, both a time saver, and the flavors are spot on.

  11. This is one of my go-to soups! It was originally chicken poblano soup, but having grown up in SW NM, you know I had to substitute Big Jims. My recipe calls for a small chopped onion and at least six chopped garlic cloves. So flavorful and comforting!

  12. Great recipe!! Comes together in 30 minutes if you use a roasted chicken from the grocery. Use half the chicken for this soup and save the other half for use in another recipe later in the week.

    I added one small onion very finely chopped and two garlic cloves, minced to the butter as it melted for the roux. When translucent, I followed the rest of the recipe, adding the juice from the roasted chicken container with the broth. HEAVENLY with flour tortillas or tortilla chips. Thank you for the great recipe!
    BTW, I am a native New Mexican from Deming, living in Minnesota.

  13. This looks scrumptious! I’d probably add garlic and fresh cilantro, with a squeeze of fresh lime juice just before serving.

  14. Garlic garlic garlic! And if you are fighting a cold or flu, I would use coconut milk in place of the dairy…less possibility of causing more congestion & also it’s anti-viral!

  15. at the end I shred a carrot for color and parsley to freshen it up … sometimes I add my homemade noodles … yum..

  16. I put:
    2 cloves garlic
    1/4 onion
    olive oil
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp oregano

    in a small skillet and sauteed until the onion was clear and then put it into the stockpot to simmer.

  17. I add onions and garlic and sauté. I also add potatoes. One of my favorite go to recipes on a cold snowy day with fresh tortillas!

  18. I turned this into more of a chili/stew. I added a can of cannot beans, a can of garbanzo beans, three celery ribs, one finely diced yellow carrot, and a cup og frozen corn. Instead of cream and milk, I added 8 oz. of nonfat cream cheese. It was delicious


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