Squash Blossom and Goat Cheese Soup [split from Los Angeles board]
[Split from http://www.chowhound.com/topics/499155]
That recipe isn't really on my mind because the season isn't here yet. My Summer notebook is still archived for now, but from memory, it should probably go something like this:
a couple of generous handfuls of early-picked squash with their blossoms/flowers
2 - 3 minced medium shallots
1 clove finely minced garlic (I use a rasp to grate the garlic)
Picked thyme leaves
A soft chevre at room temperature
Homemade vegetable or light chicken stock (use water over store-bought stock)
Minced equal parts parsley/chive/chervil
A touch of milk or cream if needed or as desired
Remove the blossoms from the squash and wash everything (we sometimes used house-picked squash which can be pretty dirty). Slice the small squash into coins around ¼” thick and roughly slice the blossoms. Set aside. Mince the shallot and garlic and sweat in a pan heated to medium with a film of good olive oil. Do not color the shallot or garlic. Season with with kosher salt will help this process along. Add the squash (with blossoms) and the thyme leaves and turn up heat just a bit. Saute the vegetable mixture until it is fully soft and just lightly browned. You do not want al dente vegetable matter here. Cook it completely through. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or a blender, add a nice handful of goat cheese (to your liking) and puree until completely smooth. If the soup is too thick, add a touch of heated stock to thin it out. Taste for seasoning and add more goat cheese to your liking. Add the minced soft herbs and salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thin, add a touch of cream, return to the heat, and cook very gently at barely a simmer until the soup has thickened.
The soup can be passed through a strainer at this point for a finer texture or left as is for a more country-inspired soup. A good quality rye bread grilled or toasted with olive oil, a couple of glugs of high-quality finishing olive oil, and some more of the minced herbs should be a lovely finish to this soup. It can be served at room temperature or slightly warmed with a lovely glass of crisp white wine.
R. Jason Coulston
Lest anybody be confused as to why this is here (I was surprised it hit this section as well actually), this stems from a conversation we were having about seasonality and farmer's markets. I mentioned something about a stand at the Irvine, CA farmer's market and the squash blossoms that show up at a particular stand then this recipe popped up on request after I mentioned the soup. You won't find the core ingredients for this soup for awhile. Depending on where you live, presumably you won't really see good-quality summer squash with their blossoms until at least June. Anyway, have fun and good cooking.
R. Jason Coulston
I'm glad it hit Home Cooking - I love squash blossoms and this looks like a wonderful recipe - I wouldn't have found it on the LA board! Bookmarking now - thanks.
Last summer I made a risotto with zucchini three ways - sauteed zucchini, sliced flowers added at the end, and then deep fried flowers on top.
About half of our Summer bounty of squash comes from my father-in-law's crop. He tends to grow zucchinis larger and seedier than I'd prefer, but when we get in early and pilfer the babies, we always try to cook them whole. In fact, to drive home the essence of the product, we tend to stuff the still-attached blossoms with a mixture cooked squash, parmesan, olive oil and panko bread crumbs then roast a full tray or gratin dish of them lined up like soldiers, swimming in good olive oil. It's a mid-afternoon porch snack of sorts that keeps us going in the heated months of July through September. With a Savennieres, Albarino, or Italian white? Forget about it.
R. Jason Coulston