Three Onion Green Chile Soup – Served Cold

Stay cool with this cold Three Onion Green Chile Soup topped with toasted pinon, herbs and sour cream. #greenchile |

Green chile season is quickly approaching.  Picking should start within the next couple of weeks, so what better time to begin introducing some new green chile recipes. Last year I started with this Baked Blooming Onion with Hatch Chile, so in keeping with the onion and green chile theme, here is a Cold, Three Onion Green Chile Soup.

Cold soups help us get through the long hot summer, so they are a favorite meal this time of year.  This three onion green chile soup is a tasty cold soup with a richness created from the use of three different types of onion and a little spice from roasted green chile.  For a bit of sweetness and crunch, this soup is topped with a dollop of sour cream and toasted pinons (pine nuts).  Serve with a simple grilled cheese of cheddar and bacon bits or your favorite for a complete meal.

For links to more chilled soups, a couple grilled cheese sandwiches, and a list of New Mexico fresh green chile suppliers, check out the links at this end of the post.

Stay cool with this cold Three Onion Green Chile Soup topped with toasted pinon, herbs and sour cream. #greenchile #Hatch #soup @mjskitchen


Three Onion Green Chile Soup – Served Cold (Recipe)

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Prep and Cook Time:  A little over an hour + overnight chill
Yield:  About 5 – 6 cups


Amounts of ingredients are not exact due to different sizes in the onions.  Approximates are given.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large leek (white only), coarsely chopped, rinsed (~2 cups)
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped (~2-3 cups)
2 large shallots, coarsely chopped (~1 cup)
3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable*)
1/2 cup broth or water
8 – 10 sprigs fresh thyme*
3 – 4 sprigs fresh oregano*
1 cup chopped, roasted green chile*, seeds removed
1/8 tsp. white pepper
salt to taste


Dollop of sour cream
Fresh chives or thyme, chopped
Toasted pinon nuts (pine nuts)


Steps 1 – 4 shown in the pictures below.

  1. Heat olive oil over medium in a soup pot. When hot, add the leeks. Set heat level at medium/low and slow cook to soften the leeks. Cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the yellow onion and shallots.
  3. Sweat the three types of onions for 15 minutes or until yellow onion is translucent.
  4. Add 3 cups broth and the fresh herbs. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all onions are soft.
  5. Let cool enough to puree’.
  6. Remove the sprigs of herbs, leaving a few of the leaves in the pot.  Add 1/2 cup liquid.
  7. Using an immersion blender, puree’ the soup.
  8. Add the diced green chile and white pepper.  Stir.
  9. Taste.  Add salt if needed.
  10. Refrigerate overnight. Remove about 30 minutes before serving.
  11. While waiting for the soup to warm a bit, lightly toast the pinon nuts in a hot skillet.
  12. Top each serving of soup with a dollop of sour cream, chopped chives/thyme, and toasted pinon.
  13. Serve with grilled cheese or sandwich of your choice for a nice summer meal.

Sauteed leeks for a 3 onion green chile soup | mjskitchen.comSauteeing three types of onion and an onion green chile soup @mjskitchen

Sauteed onions for a 3 onion green chile soup | mjskitchenSimmering onions and herbs for a 3 onion green chile soup | mjskitchen


Kitchen Notes for Three Onion Green Chile Soup

Broth – Use a mild tasting chicken broth or vegetable broth.  Stay away from broths that contain soy sauce. The soy sauce overpowers the subtle flavors of the different onions.

Herbs – When you remove the fresh herbs, leave a few of the leaves in the pot, but not all. Too many will make the soup green and too herby.  If you don’t have fresh herbs, substitute with 1/8 tsp. dried thyme and 1/8 tsp. dried oregano.  Leave in the soup when you puree’.

Green chile – I use 1/2 cup mild chile and 1/2 cup medium chile for lots of green chile flavor and a little spice.  If the chile is too spicy it overpowers the soup with heat, and you lose the flavor of the onions and green chile combo which is what makes this soup so good.



Stay cool with this cold Three Onion Green Chile Soup topped with toasted pinon, herbs and sour cream. #greenchile |

We are getting very close to seeing fresh green chile in the markets, but if you can’t get it fresh where you live, check out the New Mexico chile suppliers for our famous Hatch chile and green chile from throughout New Mexico.

For more cold soup and grilled cheese recipes, check out the links below.

Cold Curry Vegetable Soup – A great soup for using up some of the bits of vegetables left in the freezer.

Cold Asparagus and Garlic Soup

Cold Cucumber Soup

Cold Cantaloupe and Cucumber Soup

Chunky Gazpacho

Grilled Cheese with Urfa Biber Chile

Albuquerque Turkey Grilled Cheese

Index of Green Chile Recipes from MJ’s Kitchen


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37 Responses to “Three Onion Green Chile Soup – Served Cold”

  1. Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons August 2, 2017 at 8:04 pm #

    Oh what a pretty soup, MJ! I’ve had cold soups many times, but never cold onion soup. I bet this is sweet and spicy and refreshing. I definitely want to give this one a try! 🙂

    • mj August 3, 2017 at 7:50 pm #

      Thanks Anne! I hope you try it. I think you’ll like it.

  2. GiGi Eats July 27, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    I would totally dice up some chicken and throw it into the mix!!!

    • mj July 28, 2017 at 10:08 am #

      Sounds like a good idea! Thanks Gigi!

  3. Kelly Mulcair July 27, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

    Hatch chiles have arrived near us! Spotted them just the other day and of course thought of you. In fact I was mentioning to Sissi that I might try her olive brined pickled peppers with Hatch for fun. Your *cold* onion soup sounds about right to me MJ (but who can afford pine nuts lol – they’re so hard to truly mimic though… slivered blanched almond doesn’t do the trick – almost think toasted walnut would be better for the buttery texture) might try that.

    • mj July 27, 2017 at 8:59 pm #

      Thanks so much Kelly! Oh I just finished reading Sissi’s post and read your comment as well. Oh yes…I think that Hatch chile would be great pickled in olive brine. You might pick up a few HOT for that if you can handle it. 🙂

      I hear you on the price of the pinon. That’s why I but the big bags at Costco. One bag last me 6 months, so I consider it worth it. As far as a substitute for this soup, how about going the seeds route…maybe toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds? Walnut can be pretty overpowering so I’m not sure, but please give them a try and let me know. Thanks!

  4. Raymund July 27, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    You definitely know how to make chilies shine. This soup is one great example, I love it

    • mj July 27, 2017 at 8:38 pm #

      Thanks so much Raymund!

  5. Amy (Savory Moments) July 24, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    MJ, this soup looks so delicious and very elegant! Can’t wait to see what green chile recipes you have this year.

    • mj July 24, 2017 at 9:07 am #

      Thanks Amy!

  6. Liz July 23, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

    I tend to make a batch or two of gazpacho in the summer, but your onion chile soup sounds like a delicious, flavorful alternative!!!

    • mj July 24, 2017 at 9:07 am #

      Thanks Liz!

  7. Sissi July 23, 2017 at 5:16 am #

    Dear MJ, if in my childhood days I had been served such fiery soups, I would have loved chilled soups! (I hated chilled soups as a child… but quickly developed a big love for chile, it’s a pity my mum hasn’t thought of improving chilled soups with a fiery kick!). This soup is so creamy and yet it seems very light, according to the ingredients! It’s so beautiful and sophisticated, I can see it served as a starter in an elegant French restaurant (apart from the fact that the chilli-hating French customers would faint after the first spoonful, haha!). It would be perfect for the hot and heavy summer we’ve been having this year. I’m looking forward to buy some local chillies on my market (yesterday there wasn’t a single one yet). I wonder if your New Mexico chile suppliers don’t shop to Europe 😉 Just joking (and dreaming), of course!

    • mj July 24, 2017 at 9:07 am #

      Oh Sissi…I so wish I could ship you some frozen green chile, but that would definitely break the bank. 🙂 Of course, as you know, ANY fresh roasted green chile would work here. Just adjust for the spiciness. For instance, a cup of roasted jalapeno would kill you :), but you could probably used more than a cup of roasted poblano. We’ll probably start seeing NM green chile in the markets by the first of August. Right now, I’m picking yellow hots from the garden, and using the last of last year’s green chile from the freezer. I love chile season! 🙂 Thanks SO MUCH for your comments as always!

      • Sissi August 7, 2017 at 8:19 am #

        Thank you so much, MJ, for this kind answer! I would never even dream of asking you such a thing! It’s simple : if I ever visit New Mexico, I’ll do it in chile season and buy an additional luggage for the return trip 😉 (We are allowed to bring fresh produce for our own private use from abroad).
        Until now I have happily roasted Turkish medium-mild chile in your recipes and it seems to work quite well (apart from the shape… this chile is long and thin, so a bit annoying to peel and deseed).
        I think I am becoming chile-crazy because reading that a cup of roasted jalapeños would kill me made me want to try it this way and see the results 😉

  8. Abbe@This is How I Cook July 18, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    Did I hear someone say green chile season? I am always ready for that! This soup sounds divine!

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 9:09 pm #

      Yep, green chile season is here! 🙂 Thanks Abbe!

  9. Linda July 17, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

    Oh my! This sounds delicious. I’m so excited to smell those chiles roasting! Thanks for sharing.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

      Thanks Linda! Oh yes – can’t wait to start roasting!

  10. Evelyne CulturEatz July 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    I am also a fan of cold soups in the the summer. I really want to try this one, love the 3 onions, the touch of green chile in there and the pine nuts. A bolw tonight would be nice 🙂

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne!

  11. Deb|EastofEdenCooking July 17, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    Very much drawn to the make ahead aspect of this scrumptious recipe. It fits perfectly with my busy summer schedule, especially with it’s lush flavor profile.

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

      Thanks Deb! It’s a great summer meal for sure!

  12. Judy Purcell July 17, 2017 at 7:20 am #

    The combination of leeks, shallot and yellow onion would bring great depth of flavor and a nice base for the green chile. This sounds delicious, MJ, and just right for summer dining. 🙂

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm #

      thanks Judy! The combination of onions really did create a great flavor profile.

  13. Debra Eliotseats July 17, 2017 at 7:13 am #

    This is the second chilled soup I’ve seen this morning online. We’re not big chilled soup fans but the green chilis have peaked my interest here.

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm #

      Thanks Debra! Well, it is the time for cold soup. I love them in the summer. They are so refreshing. Hope you give this one a try. It’s quite different from most chilled soups.

  14. Angie@Angie's Recipes July 16, 2017 at 11:46 pm #

    The soup looks so creamy that I thought you might have added potatoes in there…and you know what? I have never thought of using so much chili in a soup…now I can’t wait to give it a try too. Thanks, MJ, for this beautiful recipe.

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

      Thanks so much Angie! Originally I was going to add some cream, but having pureeing the onion and broth, it was creamy enough. Of course I really had to run my immersion blender at the highest level for a few minutes. It was worth it. 🙂 I actually started with 1/2 cup chile then kept adding. The full cup was great!

  15. 2pots2cook July 16, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

    On Saturday morning, I went for a walk along the street market looking for spicy ingredients and the ladies told me to wait for several weeks to get fresh green chile. Thank you for this idea since we have a heat wave here and it seems that it does not intend to stop. Perfect timing !

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

      Our heat wave has slackened off a bit, but it still gets into the 90s. Sorry your still having a hot summer. I love the 80’s but the 90’s and higher I could do without. 🙂 Have a bowl of cold soup and stay cool. 🙂

  16. Anna @ shenANNAgans July 16, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

    This perhaps might be a silly question MJ, but are green chills not hot? Are they used in cooking like this as they have a slightly more spiced capsicum/pepper taste? I am intrigued by your cold soup, itd be perfect for the warmer weather we experience (all year round). 🙂

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

      Anna, They can be hot. New Mexico farmers plant a variety of chile types that range from mild to hot-hot. I usually buy a little mild, lots of medium, and a little hot. A mix and match gives me the flavor of chile and then the level of heat I want for the dish.

      I would love for it to be warm year round. 🙂 Of course, the way it’s going, I might get my wish in a few years.

  17. John/Kitchen Riffs July 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    Green chile season! One of the best times of the year. 🙂 This looks great — love the 3 onions with the chilies. I’ll bet the flavor of this is fantastic. Really innovative soup — thanks.

    • mj July 18, 2017 at 8:58 pm #

      Thanks so much John! Yes…green chile season is such a great time of the year! I especially love the smell of chile roasting. 🙂


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