Vegan Chayote Soup is “Nutty-Creamy”
Chayote is a single seed squash that is native to Mexico and Central America. Its use in Mexican cooking precedes the arrival of Europeans and is documented by writings of Francisco Hernandez, who lived in Mexico from 1550 to 1560.
It’s called mirliton in New Orleans where it has become an integral ingredient in Cajun cooking. By any name, it can be a delicious addition to your cooking options. The texture of the chayote makes for a great soup, absolutely vegan. I add roasted pine nuts and coriander to deepen the flavor. The nut oils make it “nutty-creamy.”
Recipe for Vegan Chayote Soup
It’s from my new cookbook, “Don’t Count The Tortillas: The Art of Texas Mexican Cooking.”
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 chayote, pit removed, unpeeled, washed, and coarsely cut
1/4 tsp minched jalapeño chile
1⁄2 cup onion, diced
1 tablespoon, canola oil
1 medium tomatillo, outer husk removed, then washed and coarsely cut
2 cups water
1⁄2 tablespoon pine nuts, roasted
1⁄4 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds), roasted and then lightly crushed in a molcajete or other mortar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 ̊F.
2. In the preheated oven, toast the pine nuts and pepitas separately on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, until it turns translucent. Set aside.
4. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the chayote, chile jalapeño, and tomatillo and simmer for 25 minutes or until the chayote is cooked and tender. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the water and set aside. Do not discard the water. It is a flavorful broth that will be used in the soup.
5. In a blender, place the coriander, roasted pine nuts, onion, salt, and the boiled vegetables. Blend on high for about 2 minutes or until completely smooth, creamy, and velvety. Pour it into the saucepan with the broth and mix well. Measure the soup and add enough water to make 3 cups. Return the soup to the saucepan and keep hot.
6. Taste the soup and adjust the salt.
Serve the soup hot, with the crushed roasted pepitas sprinkled on top. Accompany with bolillos (small, crispy, football-shaped rolls).