Carrie Houk roasts chiles, onions and garlic to add depth of flavor to this beautiful cream of cilantro soup with squash. Chayote, once a staple food of the Mayas and Aztecs, blends well with strong seasonings and peppers.
Serves | 8 |
- 1½ lbs chayote squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
- 6 cups good chicken stock
- 2 white onions, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 serrano peppers, chopped, seeds included
- ½ cup butter, vegetable oil or olive oil
- 2 cups chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup Mexican crema*
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- freshly fried tortilla strips
- 8 squash blossoms
| Preparation | Preheat oven to 300ºF. Reserve 1/3 of the cubed chayote. In a large saucepan, cook remaining chayote and potatoes in chicken stock until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Working in batches if necessary, purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Return soup to the saucepan.
Roast onions, garlic and peppers until soft but not burnt. Remove from oven and purée until smooth. Add butter or oil to a skillet over medium-high heat and fry the purée for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Add to the soup, stir and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add cilantro and cook for 2 minutes. Purée, then return to the pot and cook a few more minutes, stirring often, to thicken. Temper the crema by placing it in a bowl and whisking in a small amount of hot soup. Whisk the tempered crema into the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the reserved uncooked chayote into 8 separate soup bowls. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with a few tortilla strips and squash blossoms.
* Mexican crema is available at Global Foods Market in Kirkwood and at El Torito on Cherokee Street. Sour cream or Greek yogurt may be substituted.
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