This delicious Sopa de Chayote Recipe is my Mexican spin on butternut squash soup. With its creamy blend of tender chayote squash and savory seasonings, it’s the perfect Mexican soup for chilly days.
As an adolescent I was always intrigued by chayotes (also referred to as mirliton or vegetable pear) – the mysterious fruits that dangled from vines in my great grandmother’s backyard.
Chayotes are technically fruits, but act much like vegetables in that they are only mildly sweet and somewhat bland. They reach their full flavor potential when sautéed with olive oil, butter, onion and garlic. Next time you’re walking through the produce aisle at your local market (near the summer squash or fresh chile peppers), give them a try! You can always start with my sopa de chayote recipe below.
WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE
Mexican ingredients: Chayote has been cultivated for centuries in Mexico and Central America, and was a staple food in the Aztec and Mayan diets. It was later introduced to Europe, Africa, and Asia by Spanish explorers. Today, it is widely consumed around the world and used in a variety of culinary dishes. In Mexico’s trajineras de Xochimilco, vendors steam the chayote and serve it sliced with butter, mayonnaise, crumbled cheese, lime juice, and chile salt, similar to an elote or esquite.
Nutritious and delicious: Chayote squash is packed with vitamins and minerals, and its mild flavor is perfect in a creamy soup.
Versatile: Crema de chayote can be served as a side dish, a main course or an appetizer, and works for any occasion.
Easy to make: With simple ingredients and an easy-to-follow recipe, anyone can make a delicious bowl of chayote squash soup in no time.
WHAT IS A CHAYOTE?
Chayote is a fruit, commonly used as a vegetable in cooking. It is pear-shaped with a light green color and a mild flavor. Chayote can be eaten cooked or raw and is a good source of vitamin C and fiber. It is a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in many ways, including sautéed, boiled, roasted, stir-fried, or pureed. In some cultures, chayote is used in traditional dishes such as soups, stews, and salads. Its subtle taste, which reminds me of a mix between a green apple, potato, and cucumber, makes it a great addition to many recipes, and its nutritional value adds to its appeal for those looking for healthy and tasty meal options.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHAYOTE?
Digestive Health: Chayote is rich in fiber, which helps promote regularity and prevent constipation.
Weight Management: Chayote is low in calories, making it a great addition to a healthy diet for weight loss.
Boosts Immune System: Chayote is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help support immune function and prevent chronic diseases.
Heart Health: Chayote is a good source of potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and support overall heart health.
Supports Bone Health: Chayote contains calcium and phosphorus, both of which are important for maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis.
- Olive oil
- White onion
- Chayote squash
- Dry chili flakes, optional
- Chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- Salt, or powdered chicken bullion
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Sauté ingredients: In a large skillet, sauté butter, olive oil, onion, and garlic on medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add chayotes, potato, and chili flakes. Mix, cover and cook until chayote becomes tender (about 30 minutes).
Blend: Working in batches, puree mixture in a blender until smooth.
Continue to cook: Return mixture to pot and stir in chicken broth until it reaches desired consistency. Add salt (or powdered chicken bullion) and simmer on low flame for 20 minutes.
Enjoy: Serve hot and garnish with freshly chopped chives and chili flakes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, chayote squash soup can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave before serving.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT
To store butternut squash soup, let it cool and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, use a microwave-safe bowl or pot on the stove. Heat in 60-second intervals, stirring occasionally until heated through.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH CHAYOTE SOUP?
Protein: Serve the soup with some chicken, fish, or your favorite vegetarian protein.
Bread: Make it a meal and serve the soup with a slice of crispy bread or some crackers for dipping.
Crunch: Add different garnishes and textures to the soup by topping it with croutons, toasted pine nuts or seeds, or crispy bacon.
Spice: If you like additional spice, sprinkle with black pepper, chili flakes or drizzle with your favorite salsa macha.
LOOKING FOR MORE INSPIRATION?
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Sopa de Chayote Recipe (Creamy Chayote Soup)
- Vegetable peeler optional
- Large skillet with lid
- Soup bowls
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion sliced into ½-inch rings
- 5 garlic cloves peeled
- 8 chayote squash rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 potato peeled and quartered
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or other dry red pepper flakes, optional
- 4 cups chicken broth varies based on desired soup consistency
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt or to taste
- pomegranate arils
- pine nuts toasted
- chives chipped
- Aleppo pepper flakes or other dry red pepper flakes
- Sauté ingredients: In a large skillet, stir fry butter, olive oil, onion, and garlic on medium heat until onion becomes translucent. Add chayotes, potato, and chili flakes. Reduce heat to low, mix, cover and cook until chayote becomes tender and releases some of its juices (about 30-45 minutes). Let cool slightly.
- Blend: Working in batches, puree mixture in a blender until smooth. Chayotes contain a lot of water, therefore you should be able to puree this without liquids, but if necessary, add chicken broth to get the blender going.
- Continue to cook: Return mixture to pot and stir in chicken broth until it reaches desired consistency. Add salt (or powdered chicken bullion) and simmer on low flame for 15 minutes.
- Enjoy: Serve hot and garnish with freshly freshly pomegranate arils, and toasted pine nuts.
A Note from Lola
- Add other vegetables such as corn, carrots or celery.
- Experiment with different toppings such as toasted pine nuts or pomegranates, fried sage, chopped cilantro, or diced avocado.
- Substitute chicken broth with evaporated milk, or half broth, half evaporated milk, or add 1/2 cup of heavy cream for a richer soup.
- Make it vegetarian / vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and olive oil instead of butter.
Lola’s Cocina is a small business that earns various revenue streams. This includes sponsored posts and affiliate commissions from linked products, which I use and love. This commission is an agreement between Lola’s Cocina and retailers, with no extra cost to readers.
Originally published on January 28, 2014 // Photography: Cacey McReavy
Lola Wiarco Dweck
Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.