Bold Chayote Soup

ChayoteSoupChayote is a vegetable native to Mexico where it grows abundantly and is now exported all over the world.  It is ok when eaten raw but is much better steamed or cooked into a soup as it has a delicate flavor that compliments many of the stronger dishes of the region.  This is a really well balanced soup as the shy chayote is paired with the bolder flavors of the lentils, tomatoes, and carrots – all of which are lightly cloaked in smokey flavor of a single chipotle chili.  You can substitute kohlrabi or even small turnips for the chayote if you cannot get it.

Here is the link to the soda bread recipe!

Bold Chayote Soup

Meal type Chilies, Lentil, Tomatoes
Season Fall, Winter

Ingredients

  • 4 chayotes
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 large tomatoes (or one small can)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups of light vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup of small brown lentils
  • 1 chipotle chile (or a tablespoon of chipotle chile sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons of avacado or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1 Peel and roughly chop the onion and the garlic.
2 Heat a big saucepan and measure in the oil.
3 Heat it for a few moments and then pop in the onion and the garlic.
4 Add salt and pepper and cover the pan
5 Reduce the heat to low and sweat the onion and the garlic while you deal with the other vegetables.
6 Peel and roughly chop the carrots.
7 Peel and core the chayotes (it's a bit like coring a pear - there is not much there, but you need to get rid of it) and then chop them roughly.
8 Chop the tomatoes.
9 When all the vegetables are chopped, add them to the saucepan.
10 Measure in the stock and then cover the pan again and simmer for 60 minutes (30 in a pressure cooker) or until the vegetables are soft and the lentils are completely cooked.
11 Add the chipotle chile or the spoonful of chipotle sauce and then blend the soup with a hand blender.
12 You don't want it smooth - just a little lumpy. You may want to add more water to achieve your desired thickness - it depends on how much water your lentils sucked up in the cooking process!

13 Serve in big bowls with a dollop of sourcream and crumbled "panela" cheese. If you cannot get panela cheese just use feta.
14 There is a lot going on in this soup, so I like to serve it with a plain soda bread which I can make in half an hour while the soup simmers.
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