Chayote Soup with Peanut and Chipotle
One purpose of this blog is to introduce readers to the foods of the Americas, especially ones they might not be familiar with. One of these foods is chayote, a light green, pear-shaped squash that is native to Mexico. It’s not as well known as more familiar squashes such as butternut or acorn, but now that fall is here, it will make a delicious Latin addition to your holiday table.
Chayote has a mild, pleasant flavor, and you can find it in supermarkets and Latin grocery stores. This particular recipe is based on one for butternut squash from Lydia Walshin’s blog, The Perfect Pantry.
This recipe is simpler (this is time and budget-conscious cooking!), but is delicious and very satisfying. When I was taking pictures for this post, I could hear my husband scraping the bowl with his spoon to get every last drop. Thanks for visiting my blog!
4 chayotes, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo seeded, chopped
4 tablespoons of peanut butter
Salt to taste
Tip: If you have never worked with chayote before, it has a “tush” at the bottom (Turn it upside down; you’ll see.) Slice lengthwise along the “tush,” and take out the whitish pit at the center. Remove any brown spots.
Place 8 cups of water (or enough to cover the chayote) in a pot and bring to a boil. Add chayote and boil, covered, until chayote is soft and tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Let chayote cool. (The reason you let the chayote cool is because you’re going to need to put it in a blender. Many blenders have plastic pitchers, and you don’t want to put really hot things in plastic, which can release harmful chemicals into the food. Doctors have also advised people not to put plastic items in the dishwasher.)
When chayote has cooled, whirl in a blender with the chicken broth, chipotle chile, and peanut butter. For 4 servings, you’re going to need to work in batches, so in terms of liquid volume, add half the chayote and 2 cups of chicken broth at a time.
Return soup to the same pot, salt to taste, and heat. Serve hot.
Make cooking meaningful. Growing up, I spent many years watching my abuelita (grandmother) cook. Her chicken soup, apple strudel, Chinese egg rolls, roast chicken, and oatmeal cookies with jam all stand out vividly in my mind. Now she watches me cook. She’s long gone, so I have an 8 1/2 by 11 black-and-white photo of her on my kitchen counter. I know she’s not really watching me there in the kitchen, but she would if she could.