A delicious vegan soup made with the unusual pale green pear-shaped chayote squash along with cilantro and three types of green chiles. For milder picante heat, use only one half of each serrano and jalapeño pepper. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Recipe includes instructions for Instant Pot, stovetop pressure cooker, and regular stovetop cooking. Cook time estimate is for pressure cooking. You will need to cook the rice beforehand because rice cooking time is not included in the recipe times.
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Vegan
Keyword: chayote squash, poblano chiles, green chiles
1eachpoblano chile, roasted, peeled and coarsely chopped
1eachjalapeño chile, seeds and veins removed, chopped (see note)
1eachserrano chile, seeds and veins removed, chopped (see note)
1cupcooked brown or white rice
¼cupplus another ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
½to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, depending on how salty the broth
Green onion, sliced crosswise
Avocado slices, optional
Peel the chayotes. Cut then in half lengthwise, following the indent at the bottom of the fruit. Cut out the seed and white part—like coring a pear. Don’t worry if you don’t get all the skin off—chayote skin is edible. Cut the squash into rough cubes.
Using the Instant Pot:
Instant Pot: Press the Sauté button. Add the oil and sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Add the vegetable broth, the prepared chayote and poblano, jalapeño and serrano chiles, the rice, and the first ¼ cup of cilantro.Close the lid and turn the top dial to Seal. Set the Manual button for 5 minutes. Turn the top dial to Vent to reduce the presssure immediately.
With a stovetop pressure cooker:
Heat the oil and sauté the onions and garlic as for regular stovetop cooking. Add the vegetable broth, the prepared chayote and poblano, jalapeño and serrano chiles, the rice, and the first ¼ cup of cilantro. Cook at pressure for 5 minutes, then reduce the pressure immediately by running cold water over the top of the pressure cooker, or following your pressure cooker instructions.
Cooking the soup stovetop without a pressure cooker:
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium flame. Add the onion and cook and stir until the onion is translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add the vegetable broth, the prepared chayote and poblano, jalapeño and serrano chiles, the rice, and the first ¼ cup of cilantro. Add the vegetable broth, the prepared poblano, jalapeño and serrano chiles, the rice, and the first ¼ cup of cilantro.Cover and simmer until the chayote is soft, 15 minutes or so. Remove from the heat.
To puree the soup:
With immersion blender: Place the immersion blender directly in the soup pot and whir until everything is smooth. Blend in the second ¼ cup of cilantro until the leaves are tiny flecks and the soup is smooth and creamy.
With a blender jar, it’s a good idea to let the soup cool about 10 minutes. Puree in batches, each batch filling less than half of the blender container. Blend the second ¼ cup of cilantro into one of the batches. Pour from the blender into another soup pot, stir and reheat. (If you blend it all in one batch, you may find yourself with a huge hot exploded mess on the counter.)
Taste the soup and season with salt as needed. (See note.)
Ladle into bowls. Garnish with cilantro, green onion and avocado.
For milder picante heat, use only one half of each serrano and jalapeño pepper.
If you can’t find chayotes, substitute medium zucchini.
Cooked rice, cooked again with the veggies, gives this soup perfect velvet thickness.