16 August 2015

(Serves 6)

We’ve recently made a short trip home for Memorial Day Weekend. Almost a 15-hour drive to get home but well worth it. Nothing beats California sunshine, family, food and fun! So we brought a little back with us in the form of Chayote! Freshly picked the day we left from my parents’ garden. It can’t get any better than that I don’t think, fresh, organic plus the price was right!

Chayote is a part of the gourd family and is quite delicious stir-fried or simmered in soups. I opted to make soup this time around as I had some carrots in the refrigerator calling out to me. Quick tips when working with Chayote: One, peel the gourd with a vegetable peeler while it’s submerged under water or under running water to avoid getting the sticky sap on your hands. Alternatively you can always wear gloves. Two, use a small spoon to scoop out the seed. And three, place all peeled and chopped chayote in a bowl with enough water to cover to prevent it from browning.

This soup is best served steaming hot with a little bowl of rice but it can hold it’s own. Sweetness from the carrots and the unique flavor of chayote subtly infuse the broth and once garnished with scallion and cilantro the fragrance of the soup is only enhanced further! Most people would think garnish can be optional but in a dish such as this, it can make it or break it. If you’re anything like me and like some spice in your food; have some thai chilies ready to add a little kick to this soup and enjoy!

6 cups water

1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and then add salt.

1.5 tbsp salt

 2 lbs country-style pork ribs cut into 2 1/2 in cubes

2. Add pork to the boiling pot and bring back to boil cooking for about 2-3 minutes.

3. Drain, rinse and set pork aside.

10 cups water

4. Add pork and all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil.

5. Lower to medium-high heat and cook at a rolling simmer for about 15 minutes skimming scum as needed for a nice clear broth.

1/2 cup fish sauce

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp msg (optional)

1/2 lb onion peeled (1 onion)

2 1/2 lb Chayote peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1 1/2 in pieces

6. Increase to high heat, add chayote and carrots and bring back to a boil.

7. Lower to medium high heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft to your liking.

3/4 lbs carrots peeled and cut into 1 in pieces

Scallion coarsely chopped

8. Discard onion.

9. Garnish with scallions and cilantro and serve immediately. (Don’t be skimping on the garnish!)

Cilantro coarsely chopped

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