Calabaza -- Squash

Today Doña Martha will make two squash dishes, Sopa de Calabaza (Squash Soup) and Calabaza Relleña (Stuffed Squash).

Sopa de Calabaza is one of those dishes that seems to have as many forms as cooks.  Sometimes it is a potato soup with a little squash.  A local restaurant serves it that way.  Quite good.  A friend in Manzanillo made a soup from squash blossoms.  It was ok, but I prefer something with more crunch.  This version by Doña Martha meets the crunch nicely. 

The dictionary says sopa translates as soup.  Well, yes and no.  Sopa usually refers to a side dish, although sometimes it is used to mean soup.  More commonly in México soup is call caldo.  This is one of those confusing language things.  Read here for more details:  Understanding Sopa.

She begins by dicing the squash.

A tomato and half an onion are diced and added along with about a half cup of water, and set to simmer. 

When the squash is beginning to soften, a can of whole kernel corn is added.

A little extra water and salt were added.

When the squash is done, about a pint of heavy cream is stirred in and the pot is set aside to keep warm until serving time.

Sometimes she adds strips of poblano chiles that have been toasted, skinned and de-seeded as we saw in the Gorditas story.  Sometimes she adds diced ham.

Doña Martha begins the Calabazas Relleñas by hollowing out cooked (boiled) squash leaving one end closed.

The stuffings will be cheese in one and ground beef sautéed with chopped tomatoes and onion in the other.

After stuffing, they are rolled in flour and eggs and fried just like we saw in Chiles Relleños.

She made only 2, for me and her, because nobody else likes them.

The final plate

One aspect of Mexican cooking that I have experienced without joy, is the non-use of black pepper.  In my house, there would have been less salt and some black pepper in this one.

As you can see, it's really not a soup, but is sure was good.  It would make an excellent 'conventional' soup with a bit more liquid (chicken stock maybe) and more cream.

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