Butternut Squash Soup with Mole and Peppers Recipe from Joanna Pruess’s Soup for Two

Soup for Two: Small-Batch Recipes for One, Two, or Few is Joanna Pruess’s second soup cookbook. Her Soup for Every Body was praised for its delicious, nutritious, and innovative recipes, including by Mark Bittman, who wrote that “this is a collection of soup recipes that belongs on every bookshelf.”

After her children moved out and her refrigerator and freezer space subsequently diminished, Joanna Pruess no longer needed family-sized batches of soup. Eating something new every day was also more exciting than eating the same soup for several days, even if they were delicious! Soup for Two thus came to life, with both adapted old favorites and fun new recipes.

This fall classic with a Mexican-inspired twist is one of the latter. Not only is this recipe an exciting new way to eat butternut squash and a comforting meal for any chilly day, but it is also easy to make, especially with the added advantage of store-bought mole.

Butternut Mole

Butternut Squash Soup with Mole and Peppers

1 medium butternut squash, diced (4 cups)

1½ tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1½ tablespoons prepared dark mole paste

½ medium red pepper, finely chopped (1/4 cup)

½ medium green pepper, finely chopped (1/4 cup)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish

Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Sliced scallions for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Toss the squash with a little oil and place onthe baking sheet. Bake until soft, 35–40 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer the squash to a bowl and mask with a fork until more or less smooth. You should have about 1 cup of squash.

In a medium-size saucepan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the stock, peppers, mole paste, coriander, cumin, and squash and bring to a boil, stirring to blend the mole in the liquid. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the peppers are tender, about 6–7 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and plenty of pepper.

For a decorative garnish, fill a clean plastic squeeze bottle with the sour cream or yogurt. Ladle the soup into two wide, heated bowls. Squeeze the sour cream or yogurt onto the soup in a crosshatch or squiggle pattern, or simply add a dollop of sour cream in the center and sprinkle on the cilantro and scallions. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Soup for Two: Small-Batch Recipes for One, Two, or a Few was published by The Countryman Press in October 2014, and can be bought for $24.95 on www.countrymanpress.com, or at bookstores and online retailers.

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