Sopa de guías

Sopa de guías

by Sara at Hispanic Kitchen

7-8 squash vines with leaves

10-12 squash flowers
4-5 huiche squash, sliced into thick wedges
4 corn cobs cut into rounds
1 medium white onion, sliced into wedges
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 stems of chepil (wild mustard greens can be subbed here if you can’t find chepil)
2 ounces masa for making dumplings

Peel the squash vines. You can do this by scraping gently with your finger to get a bit of the skin to come off, and then pulling it down the length of the vine. This is critical because if you don’t get the hard shell off, chewing the cooked vines will be like chewing tough, resistant cardboard. On the other hand, if you do get the shell off, the vines will turn soft and lemony and absorb all of the soup’s flavors.

Chop the squash vines into 2-inch stalks. Leave the leaves whole. Pull the leaves of the chepil from the stems and discard the stems. Finally, form small dumplings (less than an inch long) with the masa and press gently into each dumpling to form a thumbprint. For added flavor, combine the masa with a spoonful of olive oil.

Boil the onion, garlic and corn in a large pot. Add enough water to accommodate all vegetables. When the water is boiling, add chicken bouillon (or use veggie bullion) to taste (I added one cube for about a liter and a half of water). Boil for around 10 minutes and then add the squash. Boil for another 10 minutes or so and then add the squash vines, flowers, and chepil. Turn on medium heat and cook for another 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Turn to high heat and bring soup to a rolling boil. Add dumplings. The soup should be hot enough to cook them through in a minute or two. I made the mistake of adding them too early and they disintegrated, which actually added a pleasant consistency and flavor to the soup but destroyed the pleasure of a bite of warm broth and greens with a juicy dumpling in the middle of it.

Serve with tortillas or bread and fresh lime slices.