Queen Victoria once said, “Things taste better in small houses.” Her words must have struck a chord with me at one point, because I found the quote scrawled across the back of this recipe. I do not remember when or why I wrote it down.
Maybe I liked that it evokes a feeling of comfort. I imagine a small cozy house with a fire in the hearth, a meal on the table, and no cares for the evening. The image fits with my notion that a dark and chilly November marks the beginning of comfort food season.
November also marks the start of the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash project. A couple of years ago, I invited myself to join a group of bloggers who posted a winter squash recipe once a week from November through January.
Although it was a lot of work, I found myself looking forward to my weekly winter squash post this time last year, and this November was no different.
Our group this year is not as large as it once was. In fact, I may post recipes alone for the next few weeks. But I figure if I post 12 winter squash recipes by myself, the worst that can happen is I try 12 winter squash recipes over the next few months. So, on to the soup.
Mole sauce, dubbed “the curry of Mexico” by The Kitchn, gives this soup a special appeal. With no standard recipe for mole (rhymes with ole!), every mole sauce is a bit different. It is not unusual for mole to include upwards of 20 ingredients, so in my opinion, making mole is practically an art.
Keep an eye out for concentrated mole paste if you would like to enjoy the full flavor of this small batch soup. Then enjoy it in a small house for optimal taste. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Soup with Mole and Peppers
Yield 2 servings
This small batch soup makes only two servings.
4 cups diced butternut squash (about one medium squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped onion (about one small onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons mole paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
optional garnishes: sour cream or plain yogurt, scallions
- Toss the diced butternut squash with one tablespoon of the the olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
- Roast the squash in an oven heated to 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until soft.
- When the squash is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a bowl and use a fork to mash it until more or less smooth. You should have about 1 cup of mashed squash.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and saute until translucent, about three minutes.
- Next add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Add the vegetable stock, peppers, mole paste, coriander, cumin, and mashed butternut squash and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish as desired before serving.
If you cannot find mole paste you can use mole sauce, however, you will need to add more than 1 1/2 tablespoons of the less-concentrated mole sauce. I suggest starting with a couple of tablespoons and then adding a tablespoon at a time until you are satisfied with the taste.