Chicken Mole Soup with Poblano Peppers

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Mole (pronounced: mo-lay) might just be the most perfect concoction in the world.  It contains two of my favorite things: chocolate and spices.  Whoever decided to marry chocolate with spice was a genius.

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A few weeks ago, a colleague from Mexico came to stay with me for a conference we were putting on here at our university.  She was very kind and thoughtful, had seen this blog, realized I liked to cook and brought me a bag of artisanal mole from a place called Naolinco in Veracruz.  Mole is a Mexican spice paste, often mixed with chocolate and cooked into a sauce that can be brushed over chicken or poured over enchiladas.  I love Mexican food.  And I know I say I love a lot of things, but Mexican food just may be my favorite cuisine in the world.  And I don’t cook it often, because I never feel like I can get it right.

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I used these bite-sized potatoes of all different colors.  Some of them were purple inside and so pretty.  I left on the skins — it’s more healthy that way, right?

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So I doubt this soup is traditional, but it is delicious.  I know not everyone has the luxury of getting mole directly flown in for them, but you can definitely find it in the super market and experiment.  I would also recommend going to your local hispanic foods store and see what they have to offer.  You can also try making your own, which is most likely what I will do when I run out of this bag.  Someday I might even try and go to Mexico to learn.  There’s no set recipe for mole, there are many variations.  But if I do learn, I might try and track down this Naolinco place and beg them to teach me.  Fortunately I’m fluent enough to know how to beg.

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Chicken Mole Soup with Poblano Peppers

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, partially frozen, cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 large poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 pound small potatoes, halved
  • 15-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 48 ounces chicken broth
  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup black mole
  • shredded cheese for garnish
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • sour cream for garnish

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  1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add chicken pieces and cook until golden but still pink on the inside.
  3. Add red onions, sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add diced poblano and red bell peppers.
  5. Pour-in fire roasted tomatoes and their liquid.
  6. Add potatoes, stir and allow to simmer for five minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  7. Pour in chicken stock.  Bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  9. Slowly mix-in mole until completely melted and incorporated.
  10. Remove from heat.  Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving so that mole flavors can incorporate.
  11. Garnish with cheese, cilantro and sour cream if desired.

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