Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guest Post: Squash Flower Soup

Anne Coleman of Cooking with Anne shares her recipe for Squash Flower Soup, a recipe that shows off some of her favorite seasonal summertime ingredients.

Squash-Flower-Soup
Squash Flower Soup from Cooking with Anne

I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing bloggers through Taste As You Go, some in real life and some online. In attempt to introduce my readers to some bloggers they may not know about and to highlight the culinary skills of some incredibly talented people, I will be featuring Guest Posts here from time to time.

Today's Guest Post was written by my fabulous friend, Anne Coleman. Anne is a mother of seven, a formally-trained chef, and an veritable expert on frugal cooking. She's also a fellow Lehigh Valley resident and a woman with one of the biggest hearts out there. I'm beyond thrilled to feature her on Taste As You Go!

When you're finished reading Anne's Guest Post, you should check out her blog, Cooking with Anne. I guarantee you'll find more than one recipe that you'll want to pin for later.

Take it away, Anne!

I've always had a love/hate relationship with summer. When I was a child I loved summer as most children do. I spent most of my summers between the ages of 7 and 16 between my father and grandparents' homes in Michigan and Indiana respectively.

Dad lived just two blocks from a beach on Lake Huron and summers in Michigan are notoriously mild as far as temperature goes. Central Indiana, where my grandparents were, is far more humid and the flat terrain doesn't lend itself well to a cooling wind unless it's a tornado. Neither of those places had air conditioning, and neither did my own home in Pennsylvania. I don't feel as though I missed out on anything and I don't ever recall it being so hot that it was unbearable.

Fast forward to my childbearing years and the story was completely different. Not only is Pennsylvania known for it's raging humidity, I also lived in homes that had no air conditioning. Add in hot babies that needed to be nursed and held often and there were days I wasn't sure I wouldn't melt before sundown. Now that I'm older (and so are the kids) and have had the luxury of air conditioning in both window units and central air, I don't abhor the season so much.

I also love summer because I love to grow things. I've been gardening for about 26 years this year and it's so fun to me to watch things come from tiny little seeds. I love sowing, caring for and harvesting just about anything at all. I also love to cook with whatever comes from my garden.

This week the garden was rife with one of my all-time favorites -- zucchini. I also had many, many pumpkin and zucchini flowers so I harvested all of them and made this wonderful and beautiful soup. Please do use whatever pepper you like so you can control the heat level, and if you don't have your own squash flowers growing, check with local farmers' markets.

If you're growing your own, male flowers are at the end of a long stalk and female flowers have a tiny zucchini growing just behind them. Harvest the male flowers and use within 24 hours for best results.

Squash Flower Soup
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes | Ready In: 20 minutes | Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced 1/4 inch
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced 1/4 inch
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 24 large squash blossoms, sepals and stamen removed, chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted Hatch chile, chopped (or green chile of choice)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed soup pot, warm butter and oil over medium heat. Add onion, stirring to coat and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often. Do not brown.
  2. Add zucchini and corn kernels and stir well.
  3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. While the broth is simmering, prep the squash blossoms. Break off the stems, peel off the sepals (the small pointed green leaves that grow from the base), and pull out the stamen. The flower will fall apart here and that's fine since you will chop them later.
  5. Set 4 flowers aside for garnish. Chop the remaining flowers, including the large end, into 1/4 inch strips.
  6. Cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Using an immersion blender, blend about half of the soup smooth. You can also remove half and use a traditional blender.
  8. Add the chiles and milk, stir well. Cook 1 minute longer.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in crema. Ladle into bowls and top each with a squash blossom.
Recipe by Anne Coleman | Cooking with Anne

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