Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy times with mom

The first time I went to visit my mother in Mexico was the first time that I tasted squash blossoms. We had gone to the house of one of her friends for lunch and the woman sauteed the flowers before using them as filling for quesadillas. Delicious. She then explained to me that this had been an experiment as she had never bought the flowers before. But she had had them in soup.

I somehow tasted the soup before I left and fell in love. My mother brought me a can of the Campbell's version on her next trip back to the States. For years I was OK in not having a recipe for the soup. After all, where was I going to get the flowers? Duh. Berkeley Bowl. So for many months I have been on a mission to find a recipe. Most of the recipes I found are written in Spanish. That's OK but they often lacked measurements. I finally found one posted in English -- with measurements. But the directions were rather garbled. What I present to you is what I concocted based upon all of this.

Sopa de Flor de Calabaza

1 cup butter
1 cup fresh corn kernels
2 cups zucchini, diced
2 cups of squash flowers, stem and stamen removed and chopped (I used 12 and was a little short. I'd recommend about 18)
Epazote (Berkeley Bowl was out so I substituted a little oregano.)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup tomato puree
3 cups chicken broth
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/2 cup cream

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a pan. Add corn, zucchini and flowers to pan. Saute until vegetables begin to release juice. Add epazote. Simmer on very low heat.

In another pan melt 1/2 cup butter. Add onion and cook until onion is soft. Add tomato puree. Cook for about five minutes.

Stir tomato-onion mixture into other pan. Add chicken broth and jalapenos. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let soup simmer about another 20 minutes or so.

Turn off heat and stir in cream.

Oh, and of course I'll be taking some of this over to my mom's house. Along with some other items. But you'll get to see those later in the week.

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