The delicately flavored fruit chayote is ubiquitous in the central highlands of Mexico. It varies greatly in size, ranges in color from white to dark green, and can have prickly or smooth skin. The variety most commonly available in the United States (also known as a vegetable pear or mirliton) has smooth, pale green skin that can be eaten but is sometimes removed.
Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 45 min
Makes 4 servings.
- 2scallions, minced
- 1small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4teaspoon minced small fresh hot green chile such as serrano or thai, or to taste
- 1/2tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2lb chayotes* (2 to 3), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and pitted if necessary, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 2tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 3/4cups watergarnish:fresh cilantro sprigs
DIRECTIONS Cook scallions, garlic, and chile in butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add chayotes, salt, and 1 tablespoon cilantro and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add water and simmer, covered, until chayotes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in remaining tablespoon cilantro and purée soup in 2 batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Season with salt.
• Soup can be made 1 day ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat before serving.
*Available at Latin markets and some supermarkets.