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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, and Pomegranate Soup

I have a confession to make, and I feel stupid telling you this. I served this soup a few weeks ago when we had my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and some other friends over for dinner. Though I'd never made the recipe before, I figured I had nothing to worry about. How can you go wrong with squash, sweet potatoes, and pomegranates, right?

I know what you're thinking, I'm about to tell you this recipe was a flop. Not the case. I actually quite liked it. However, as the six of us were eating, we all commented on what a kick this recipe had. I was positively baffled and recited the ingredients to everyone: "It's only squash, potatoes, broth, pomegranate juice, wine, onion, salt & pepper." We could not for the life of us figure out what would have made it so spicy so we slurped on. 

Though I hopefully tamed the fire in their mouths with a little caramel apple cheesecake pie, I spent the next twelve hours questioning why in the world the soup turned out so spicy. It wasn't until I started typing the recipe up in this blog post that the culprit was realize: green chilies. Cue me slapping my forehead in stupidity. Whoops! 

Well, mystery solved. If you want to tone down the kick, I recommend decreasing or omitting the chilies. I had doubled the below recipe, meaning an entire little can of chilies went into the soup. Why I couldn't remember this when we all questioned the flavor, I don't know! Even so, this soup was quite good. It's rather liquidy, so decrease the amount of broth if you prefer a thicker soup. Be sure to top with pumpkin or sunflower seeds, it makes for a satisfying crunch!

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, and Pomegranate Soup
adapted from POM Wonderful 

-1 cup pomegranate juice
-1/2 cup pomegranate arils
-1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
-1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
-1/3 cup onion, chopped
-2 tbsp green chiles, chopped
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 tsp salt
-2 tsp white pepper (note--this contributes to the spicy kick of the soup--decrease to 1/2 tsp for a milder flavor...add additional pepper to taste)
-1/2 cup white wine
-toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
-1/2 cup sour cream

1. Add squash, sweet potato, onion, green chiles, chicken broth, and pomegranate juice to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 30 minutes or until squash is soft. Add salt, pepper, and white wine.
3. Remove from heat & use an immersion blender to blend until smooth (or use a regular blender and transfer in batches).
4. Reheat soup before serving. Top bowls with pomegranate arils, pepitas, and sour cream.