A while back, a good friend of mine, Sandy, had sent me a recipe for a chayote Squash soup that she got from Epicurious. The recipe was deceptively simple and I had never eaten chayote squash so I filed it under intriguing, planning to try it sometime. Well, it so happened that we were at the grocery store and we passed by a sign that said “Chayote Squash”. Curious as I am about these sort of things and with the memory of the soup still fresh in my head, we bought three of them.
Came home, dug up my friend’s email and made the soup with some variations from the Epicurious recipe. The first difference was adding ground roast cumin. My friend had suggested that and it worked very well. The second was the addition of corn kernels at the end. After I tasted the soup, it just felt like corn would complement the flavor, and it did. Lastly, I did something I hardly ever do: added a little heavy whipping cream. left over from a strawberry shortcake recipe (that went horribly wrong), right at the end. I think you can do without this but it does taste pretty good with the cream.
It was an easy recipe, it made a good soup, and it is kid tested. You can’t go wrong with that.
NOTE: For those of you, who like me, didn’t know of this vegetable, chayote squash is originally native to Mexico and Latin America. It is part of the meon/squash/cucumber family. More here.
The Epicurious recipe is here. My version is below.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 adults)
1/2 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 teaspoon minced jalapeno
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 chayotes – peeled, quartered lengthwise, and pitted if necessary, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups of water (add more if needed)
1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1. In a saucepan on medium heat melt the butter.
2. Cook the onion, garlic and chile till the onion starts to become translucent (3-4 minutes).
3. Add the chayotes, half the cilantro, cumin and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add water and cook till chayotes are tender ((15-20 minutes)
5. Puree everything and add salt to taste.
6. Add the corn and simmer for 10-15 minutes – till the corn softens.
7. Add the rest of the cilantro and serve warm.