Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Chayote Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger

Adapted from Bon Appétit  | June 1999  | Serves 6

This recipe can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.


In Indonesia, the sourness in this soup would typically come from tamarind, which can be hard to find in the United States. A shot of lemon juice works well instead. Serve this hot or cold, and do use the kaffir lime leaves; they add a nice citrusy note.
click photo to enlarge


7 cups vegetable stock
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
3 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves (We found these at the Lotus market in the Strip district)
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 chayote squash, peeled, rinsed, quartered lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced crosswise (we found these at Whole Foods. An odd, green, mango sized squash)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


Combine first 7 ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Strain liquid into bowl; return to same pot. Discard solids in strainer.


Bring liquid in pot to boil. Add squash; reduce heat and simmer until squash are crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over medium heat, if desired.) Stir in parsley. Serve soup hot or chilled.

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