This week's Platinum Chef Challenge ingredients were garlic, sweet potatoes, chocolate, cilantro, and yogurt. Originally I was going to be suuuuper boring, and make sweet potato fries, but then I became inspired.
Last week, Michele made a peanut soup for the Platinum Chef Challenge. Soup? Soup is a brilliant idea! With the cilantro, I immediately thought of a southwestern soup, something spicy. And then I remember mole, a Mexican sauce made from chocolate and chilies. I had made it once before and just the process of making it made me cough from the chilies! Well in order to conteract the spiciness I knew I would need something sweet, I decided to add the mole to a sweet potato and carrot based soup (not a bisque, this one is cream free and healthy enough for even Wee-Mo to eat). Add the yogurt also helped by adding something cool and healthy to this spicy mix.
Truth is, this is one of my favorite things I have ever made. I loved the thickness of the soup. The spice from the mole perfectly complements the sweetness of the sweet potato. I'm actually kinda surprised that I was able to use all the ingredients in one dish, but I am so proud of myself!
Southwestern Soup with MoleBase:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound carrots, chopped
1 whole habanero pepper
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped peeled sweet potato
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper strips
1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate, grated
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1) Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2) Add leek, onion, and carrots; sauté 7 minutes or until tender.
3) Pierce habanero several times with a knife. Add habanero, ginger, and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes.
4) Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add water and sweet potato; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender.
5) While base is simmering, make the mole. Heat a large nonstick pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño pepper; cook 4 minutes or until tender.
6) Stir in tomatoes; cook 1 minute.
7) Add chocolate and next 4 ingredients (chocolate through cumin seeds). Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8) Stir in orange juice, coriander, and cilantro, to base. Remove and discard habanero.
9) Place half of base mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a medium bowl; repeat procedure with remaining base.
10) Press base, in batches, through a large fine sieve into pan; discard solids.
11) Stir honey and salt into base.
12) Add mole. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle into bowls; top with non-fat yogurt. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.