Chayote Squash Soup

Chayote squash is widely available across India, commonly called chow chow. It is also widely used in the cuisines of East and South India. But I have never seen it used in North Indian cuisine. I buy this gourd quite often, but must admit that I am not a great fan. I eat it rather stoically – usually in the form of a chutney. As this is a bland vegetable, using it in chutneys offers scope to add a generous amount of chili. A couple of days ago, I was discussing the Saturday menu with my chefs, Hari and Manoj. Hari reminded me that we have some chow chow lying around. I really do not know how the thought came into my mind, but I told them to make a soup with it. Yesterday, I sat down to lunch with some trepidation for two reasons – I am not fond of chow chow and I was afraid that the soup would taste quite horrible. Imagine my surprise when I took the first sip of the soup. I almost fell off my chair – it was so tasty. Though I have lots of recipes in queue to post, I gave this one top priority. Please do try it and you will not be disappointed!

Chayote Squash Soup

2 medium sized chayote squash, roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1/2″ piece ginger, chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
4 cups water
1 tomato, roughly chopped
Salt to taste
Heat a wok and add onion, ginger and garlic
Saute for a minute
Add tomato and continue to saute for a couple of minutes
Now add the chopped chayote squash
Cook, adding a little water and salt, for about 10 minutes till the squash is soft
Add 4 cups of water and mix well
Set aside to cool
Transfer to a blender and grind till smooth and creamy
Transfer to a saucepan and add the black pepper powder
Heat well
Serve immediately

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