Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sopa de Flor de Calabaza - Squash Blossom Soup

Squash blossoms are the "holy grail" of the farmer's market. The season for squash blossoms is brief, so I was so happy when I saw big golden bunches selling for just five dollars! Cooking with flowers is wonderful. These particular flowers are very versatile; you can toss them in salad, use them in stir fry, or prepare them as a stuffing for quesadillas. You can also make this classic "Flor de Calabaza" soup. My personal recipe uses seasonal veggies for a perfect Summer treat. It is no wonder the delicate squash taste of this dish has been enjoyed in Mexico for more than five hundred years! To prepare the blossoms get rid of the stems and pistils, wash and use only the beautiful golden petals. This is a vegan recipe, but you can substitute butter for the vegetable oil if you wish. Makes four servings. You'll need the following ingredients:

  • Two bunches of squash blossoms (approximately four cups of blossoms, when chopped)
  • Half of a small white onion, chopped
  • One ripe tomato peeled, seeded and chopped
  • Kernels of two fresh ears of corn
  • One cup of fresh green beans, chopped
  • Two medium white potatoes (or four small creamers) peeled and cubed
  • Four cups of vegetable broth, or filtered water
  • One corn tortilla, cut in strips
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Dash of white pepper
  • Salt to taste

In a large pot saute the chopped onion with oil until it becomes transparent. Add the chopped tomato and stir until it starts to release its juices. Add the cubed potatoes, chopped green beans and kernels of corn. Make sure you scrape inside the pot what remains on the ears of corn, using a blunt knife to release the juices. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and then add the flowers. Add the broth or water and simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Puree half of the soup in a blender and return to the pot for a creamier consistency. Garnish with tortilla strips that have been toasted in a pan with a little bit of oil, or crisped in a 350-degree oven.

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