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Chicken Vegetable Soup, Azteca (M)
Source: Chef2chef
Serves: 8

1 chayote squash
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 poblano chile
2 garlic cloves, minced, approximately 1 tsp.
1 jalapeno pepper, minced, approximately 2 tbsp.
1 tsp. ground coriander
1-1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1-1/2 quarts chicken broth
5 canned Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, diced, approximately 1 cup
1 carrot, small diced, approximately 1/3 cup
1 celery stalk, small diced, approximately 1/2 cup
1 small yellow squash, small diced, approximately 1 cup
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Rub the chayote with 1 tsp. of the oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast the chayote in the oven until the skin browns lightly and the flesh becomes barely tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to scrape away the skin. Cut the chayote in half from top to bottom and use a spoon to scoop out the edible seed, which you can either discard or eat as a snack. Dice the flesh and set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to Broil. Brush the poblano with 1 tsp. of the oil. Place the poblano under the broiler and turn as it roasts so that it blackens evenly on all sides. Put the poblano in a small bowl and cover.

Let the poblano steam for 10 minutes, then remove it from the bowl and pull off the skin. Use the back of a knife to scrape away any bits that don't come away easily. Remove and discard the seeds, ribs and stem. Dice the flesh and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, jalapeno pepper, and coriander. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.

Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Add the chayote, poblano, broth, tomatoes, onion, carrot, celery, and yellow squash. Bring to a simmer and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Add the cilantro and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls.

Poster's Notes:
If you can't find chayote (usually grouped with squash) substitute zucchini but skip the roasting; just chop and add to soup. Chayote is a pale green and strange looking. It is particularly popular in Creole cooking; stuffed and baked.

On its own, it's watery and tastes to me like a cooked cucumber.

Author's Notes:
Once an important food for the Aztec and Maya peoples of Central America, the chayote is a pear-shaped fruit with furrowed, pale green skin. It is also known variously as a mirliton, a christophene, and a vegetable pear. It has a rather mild flavor that has been described as a blend of cucumber, zucchini, and kohlrabi.

Posted by Judith Sobel

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A