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CHEF'S SECRETS

Hey, There's Chocolate in My Soup

March 05, 1992|ROSE DOSTI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Chef Bruno Moeckli's culinary apprenticeship in Switzerland became the basis for his cooking in France, Canada and the United States. At Chartreuse in Santa Monica, his cooking has become, he says, "internationalized"--much like Switzerland itself: "Swiss and French, with a touch of California."

Now, however, you can add a dash of Mexico, if you consider his surprising chocolate soup made with chiles and tequila. "The idea is based on the mole of the Mayan cuisine, which used cocoa in cooking long before the European world knew about it," he explains. And now . . .

CHARTREUSE SPICY CHOCOLATE SOUP

1/4 cup oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1/2 bunch celery, diced

2 medium zucchini, diced

2 green peppers, diced

2 jalapeno chiles, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons tequila

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon flour

2 quarts chicken stock

Salt, pepper

Cayenne, optional

Cilantro sprigs

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, green peppers, jalapeno chiles, garlic and cilantro, reserving few sprigs for garnish. Saute until onion and vegetables are tender-crisp. Add tequila. Remove from heat and add cocoa powder, cinnamon and flour. Stir well.

Add chicken stock. Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Serve garnished with cilantro sprigs. Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains about:

97 calories; 563 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.6 grams fiber; 55% calories from fat.

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