The weather here in Berlin has been unpredictable and wild lately, sweeping from windy rainstorms into blisteringly hot days. While the weather might not reflect the steady change of seasons, the produce available locally makes the transition clearer. Butternut squash, which I couldn’t find anywhere a month ago, is everywhere now. Once it finally showed up, I couldn’t resist playing with it!
The complex heat of the mole poblano contrasts with with the sweetness of roasted butternut squash, creating a hearty and warming soup perfect for cooler days. The pomegranate arils add pops of acid, and the sorrel brings in a bit of herbal lemony flavor. The bright sumac ties the lemony sorrel into the complex spiced flavor of the mole.
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Two quick notes:
- If you don’t have mole poblano, feel free to substitute another kind of mole. Mole coloradito would be particularly delicious, but you can’t go wrong with any variation.
- This soup is what I call “coincidentally vegan” – I didn’t set out to make a vegan soup, but it turned out to be that way. If you’re not concerned with being vegan, a drizzle of crème fraîche would add a delightful creamy coolness to contrast with the heat of the spiced soup.
Mole Poblano & Butternut Squash Soup with Pomegranate, Sumac, & Sorrel
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- olive oil
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons mole poblano paste (note: feel free to substitute another kind of mole paste; the result will taste different, but still delicious!)
- 2-3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 sorrel leaf
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the 3 cups of cubed butternut squash with enough olive oil to coat along with generous pinches of salt and pepper.
- Roast the butternut squash at 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the butternut squash from the oven once it’s ready.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Mince the 3 cloves of garlic and add to the hot oil. Cook until just fragrant, about 15 seconds.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of mole poblano paste and 2 cups of vegetable stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer while stirring to dissolve the mole paste, then add the roasted butternut squash cubes.
- Simmer the soup until thicker and visibly reduced, 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove pomegranate arils from the pomegranate and finely slice the sorrel leaf.
- When the soup has thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool enough to blend either with an immersion blender (recommended) or in a traditional blender (if necessary). Blend until smooth, slowly adding vegetable stock to achieve your preferred texture. (I used about another cup.)
- Serve immediately, garnished with pomegranate arils, sliced sorrel leaf, and sumac to taste.