Jacques Pépin's best friend, Jean-Claude Szurdak, came up with this version of a favorite local dish. The soup can be made with anchos or even guajillo chiles, but Jean-Claude prefers pasillas for their complex, earthy flavor and aromatic notes of chocolate and tobacco. The avocado and crème fraîche toppings here are key to mellowing the intense pure chile taste. More Recipes Featuring Garlic
Dried purple-black pasillas give this soup a chocolaty note, ideal with a rich, mocha-inflected red from the south of France. The Costières de Nîmes region, just south of the Rhône Valley, is known for its robust red blends with Syrah and Grenache.