Sometimes known as christophene, christophine, cho-cho, mirliton, and merleton, chayote is an edible plant, which belongs to the Cucurbitaceae familly, as do melons, cucumbers and squash. Chayote squashes are pear shaped with thin green wrinkly skin and white flesh. They are one of the well-recognized field vegetables in many central-American regions and in some southern US states. The root, stem, seeds, and leaves of the plant are all edible. This vegetable is bland and can be eaten raw, cooked, mashed, baked, boiled, fried, or even pickled. Chayote is rich in amino acids and vitamin C. While I am the only squash lover among my peers, this chayote soup recipe has miraculously won the approval of those who have tasted it. All it needs is some seasoning and some veggies to back it up. You won’t even notice the difference. Chayote squashes and recipes that come along with them are a great way to conclude the brutal summer heat and welcome in autumn. They along cilantro are at their peak this season. There are also plenty of people I know who have a peculiar (or not so) aversion to cilantro. While cilantro emboldens the flavor in this chayote vegetable soup, you can always opt for fresh parsley. I pureed some of the vegetables to make this soup more appealing to the eye. I used a combination of summer and autumn-winter vegetables. Black bread and salad are great accompaniments for this hearty soup. Soup is generally is an excellent way to start a meal, especially if you’re trying to cut calories. This particular soup is very light, getting most of its calories from the one potato.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 large chayotes, peeled and sliced
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 potato peeled and cubed
- 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 5 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup of frozen or fresh corn, peas, and string beans mix
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of fresh cilantro chopped
- Salt and pepper for taste
Place chayote, potato, carrots, onion. crushed tomatoes, and broth in a stock pot. Cover and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Puree with a hand blender or in batches with a standing blender. Add the chickpeas and mixed vegetables and allow the soup to cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Yields 4 servings