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Creamy Mole Chicken Soup



– 3 dried pasilla chile peppers, stems and seeds removed and torn into strips – 1/3 cup raisins – 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/2 teaspoons each: chili powder and dried oregano leaves – 1 teaspoon ground cumin – 1 (32-oz.) container chicken broth, divided – 1 (14.5-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes – 2 tablespoons California butter – 2 cups chopped onion – 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes – 2 tablespoons flour 1 cup each: sliced carrots, sliced celery and corn – 1 chayote squash, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes – 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained – 7 ounces can diced green chiles – 1 cup shredded California Monterey Jack cheese – 1/2 cup light California sour cream – Crumbled California Cotija cheese, baked tortilla strips, diced avocado, fresh cilantro leaves and sliced green onions (optional toppings)
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Place dried chiles in a large saucepan and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Place in a blender with raisins, cocoa, spices, 2 cups broth and tomatoes; puree until smooth. Place back in saucepan. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add onion and chicken and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add flour and cook for 1 minute more. Add to stockpot with remaining broth, carrots, celery, corn, squash, beans and canned chiles. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Slowly add cheese, stirring constantly and cook just until melted. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with sour cream, crumbled Cotija and any desired toppings.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.