You know how I mentioned in Spicy Tortilla Soup that there was a squash blossom soup in the same movie that I wanted to make?
I remembered on Friday to ask my local farmer if he still had any squash blossoms. It's getting really late in the season, but he still had some left. (He also told me that during the height of the season, he was filling and selling 350 bags per day. Per day! Each bag contains between 3 and 4 dozen blossoms and sells wholesale for $2 -- retail is between $2.50 (at the ethnic grocery I shop at) and $5 (or more at the yuppie shops).
He scrounged up a half bag - only about 3 dozen small blossoms - which I bought for a buck. I love buying produce from him! We get such great stuff.
Now, as I mentioned before, squash blossoms are highly perishable. They must be used within 48 hours of purchase so they don't go to waste. I used 2/3rds of my small bag to make this light and floral soup. The other third went into quesadillas with shredded cheese and a bit of salsa. (Which is also fantastic.)
Unlike stuffing and frying, sauteing blossoms calls for the green "cap" to be cut off. Doing this makes it easy to remove the stamen and any stray little prickly leaves. Don't skip this step, the prickles are uncomfortable to eat!
We also tossed in a "Mexi-bell" from our garden. They're just ripening now, turning from dark green to bright red seemingly overnight. Mexibells are a hybrid bell pepper that is both sweet and spicy. It combines the best of sweet bells and jalapenos! I'm glad we decided to pick one up for a couple of bucks at Walmart -- it was definitely worth it!
This soup is wonderfully light and makes an excellent first course or side soup for a Mexican-themed meal. I chose to preserve the texture of the various ingredients, but you can also puree it with some cream for a luscious rich soup.
Flor de Calabaza Sopa [printable recipe]
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 medium white onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 cups / 90 g squash blossoms, cap and stamen removed, chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup veggie broth
- 1/2 jalapeno, minced or sweet red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- sour cream (optional)
In a medium saucepot over moderate heat, melt butter. Saute onion with a pinch of salt until translucent, then stir in garlic and the chile pepper. Continue to saute, stirring frequently, until the peppers are tender. Add the blossoms and cook just until wilted, about 45 seconds. Season with cumin and stir in broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Taste, adjust seasonings accordingly. Serve with sour cream as is or puree.