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Sopa de Flor de Calabaza (Squash Blossom Soup)

This recipe is adapted from Diana Kennedy's The Cuisines of Mexico (Harper & Row 1972).

Serves 6

40 large squash flowers, about 1 pound (use male flowers, not females attached to baby squash)

4 cups good chicken broth

2 medium tomatoes

1/2 small onion, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

Epazote or parsley for garnish (epazote is a strong-flavored herb often used in Mexican cooking; it has flat, pointed leaves and is available dried and sometimes fresh in Latino markets)

Remove stems from flowers, strip off green sepals at the base of the flower, chop the flowers and put them in a saucepan. Cover with the broth and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a shallow metal pan with foil and put the tomatoes in it. Place them under a hot broiler and turn occasionally so they cook through evenly. The skin will be blistered and charred. This will take about 20 minutes.

When the blossoms are tender, transfer them and the liquid to a blender or food processor and puree. Return to pan.

Blend the tomatoes together with the onion into a smooth puree.

Melt the butter, add tomato-onion puree and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add mixture to the broth in the saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Serve in warm bowls garnished with epazote or parsley.

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