Lunchbreak: Summer squash blossom soup, prepared by Sixteen executive chef Nick Dostal

Nick Dostal, Executive Chef

Sixteen
401 N. Wabash, 16th Floor
Chicago
(312) 588-8600
www.sixteenchicago.com

Summer Squash Blossom Soup

Soup Base (2-3 days ahead)

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups medium diced yellow squash, with skin
1 1/2 cups medium diced white squash, no skin
1 3/4 cups medium diced cucumber, no skin
1 medium cantaloupe

Directions:
Blend the yellow squash, white squash and cucumber together on high for one (1) minute. Strain through a fine sieve. Store in refrigerator (up to 2-3 days ahead). Make cantaloupe juice by juicing the flesh of one cantaloupe. Strain cantaloupe and store in refrigerator (up to 2-3 days ahead)

Pickled Squash (Up to 3 weeks ahead)

Ingredients:
3 cups mixed baby squash, cut into fourths (just under 2-inch cubes)
1/2 cup sliced shallot
1/4 cup sliced fennel
1 bay leaf
3 star anise pods
1 Tbs fennel seed
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1/2 cup mirin
1 3/4 cups filtered water
1 1/4 cups acidic white Wine (like Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or Oregon Pinot Grigio)
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs Salt

Directions:
Place baby squash in glass or plastic container. Place all ingredients into pot and bring to a boil. When it reaches boil, remove pot from heat and strain liquid directly into container with the baby squash. Transfer immediately to refrigerator uncovered until it is fully cooled. When fully cooled, cover and store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Poached Oyster Base (Up to 1 week ahead)

Ingredients:
canola or grape seed oil
2 cups smoked ham, medium diced
1 Tbs black peppercorns
2 Tbs coriander seeds
1 cup dry, white wine
3 1/2 cup chicken stock

Directions:
In wide braising pot, add small amount of oil to pan. Heat to medium and add ham, browning slightly on each side. Add the spices and cook about 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Add wine and reduce liquid by ½ its original volume, approximately 7 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to light simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and cool. Store in refrigerator for up to one week

Poached Oysters (Day of; 1 day ahead maximum)

Ingredients:
ice
water
32 oz. (2 lbs) shucked oysters + liquor
cooled oyster poaching base

Directions:
Shuck oysters and save all the liquor. Strain the oyster liquor through a coffee filter and refrigerate up to 2 days before cooking. Prepare large bowl of ice and water. In wide saucepot, combine cold oysters, the oyster liquor from shucking and cold poaching base (Make sure your saucepot fits into the ice bath completely). Place pot over heat and gently stir oysters in liquid until they begin to firm. As they become firm, remove pot from heat and place whole pot in ice bath. Continue to slowly stir the oysters in the liquid so they cool quickly and evenly. Once fully cooked, remove oysters from liquid and store in airtight container. Best to do day of but can store 1 day ahead in airtight container.

 

Finishing the Soup (Just before serving)
Squash soup base mixture from step 1 (~3 Cups)
Cantaloupe juice from step 1 (~1/2 C)
12 Squash blossoms, stems removed
3/4 cup uce
1 Tbs lemon oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Add all ingredients together in blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep cold after blending.

Bringing It All Together (Serving)

12 Squash blossom petals for garnish
6 Whole large squash sliced into 1/8 inch thick ribbons (raw)
7 Whole large zucchini sliced 1/8 inch thick ribbons (raw)
32 pieces of picked baby squash
herbs from garden
flowers from garden

Season the squash ribbons lightly with lemon or olive oil, salt and pepper. Place oysters, sliced pickled baby squash, herbs and flowers from the garden in a chilled bowl. Pour the soup base over the dish tableside for added wow factor.