Squash Vine and Flower Soup

During the summer, when the squash and squash vines (guias) are at their peak, there are countless variations of squash vine soups being made by campesina women. I learned two similar recipes from two separate villages, thanks to Silvia López Garcia and María Candelaria Coca López. The difference is that Silvia adds spearmint (hierba buena), which enhances the flavor. Both cooks used the quintessential lime to brighten the flavors—and both served it with the Chile Canarios en Escabeche (local pickled chiles), and fresh tortillas. This is truly a regional specialty.
By | February 15, 2016


In a large stockpot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, with the onion and garlic. Lower heat, add the squash and cook covered for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the squash vine greens, squash flowers, cilantro and hierba buena to the soup. Allow to cook covered for at least 15 to 20 minutes, or until all is soft. Season with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with lime wedges and pickled chiles/vegetables.

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  • ½ medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound (2 cups) Mexican squash or zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 bunches (about 4 cups) squash vines, cleaned. (Use the youngest, most tender tips of the vines and the softest leaves; strip the larger stems of the fibers and cut into small pieces.)
  • 2 bunches squash blossoms, sepals and pistils removed, flowers torn into halves, well cleaned
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup hierba buena leaves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 3 limes, quartered
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