When we were buying veggies over the weekend, Speedy suggested a bag of chayote and almost as soon as he saw them. I understood. He was thinking of a soup from his childhood. A soup so comforting in its simplicity that it makes one think of life decades ago when everything was slower and more relaxed. I don’t remember my mother-in-law adding spinach leaves to this dish but I still had half a bag of spinach in the fridge last night and I thought that spinach leaves would brighten up this soup even more — in color, texture and flavor.
This soup cooks in less than 30 minutes and the only laborious part is peeling and cutting the chayote, and picking the spinach leaves — if you can call that laborious. Other than that, it’s a breeze.
- 500 g. of coarsely ground pork (you can substitute beef)
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large chayote, peeled, cored and cut into one-inch cubes
lots of spinach leaves (no need to parboil or wilt in boiling water)
about 6 c. of broth, preferably homemade
patis (fish sauce), to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps. of cooking oil
- Heat the cooking oil in a pot. Saute the garlic and onion. Add the ground pork and cook, breaking up the meat into rather large chunks.
Pour in the broth. Season with fish sauce and pepper. Bring to the boil.
Add the chayote cubes. Bring to the boil once more. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chayote is tender but not mushy.
When the chayote is done, taste the broth. Add more fish sauce and pepper, if needed.
Add the spinach leaves. Boil for a minute then turn off the heat.
Cooking time (duration): 30 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 4
Meal type: lunch