Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ayote Soup

For Halloween I bought five green "pumpkins", actually ayotes, at Q10 each. (About $1.70 Canadian.) We used them for decorations and then weren't quite sure what to do with them afterwards. So we left one in the kitchen at Gringos Locos for the chef, left one on the bar for whoever wanted it, and put two out on the railing by the street with a FREE sign, in Spanish of course -- GRATIS. Within five minutes, a lady came and took one away and I'm sure the other one got picked up not long after. Why? Because they're food, that's why!

I had kept one misfigured ayote at home and decided to cook it today. I Googled some recipes for ayote and came up with a lot of soups. So I decided to base my soup loosely off of a pumpkin soup recipe from Jamie Oliver and substitute my lovely green Guatemalan squash. :)

I hacked open the beast and it was greeeeeeeen inside! 
I used my biggest kitchen knife and tried to cut the squash but it was super hard. I ended up slashing my knife into it, then bashing the entire thing against the side of the cement pila until it split. Kinda like chopping really hard firewood!  :)
I don't have an oven so I boiled it for 20 minutes. I had to do several batches cuz my pot wasn't big enough.
It was very strange to be preparing such a vibrantly green food. I kept having to shove my notions of green=yucky to the back of my mind. Truthfully, it was several lovely shades of green that were quite pretty!
Once it was boiled and soft, I carved the flesh off the skin. Ewwwww! Sounds gross! 
At this point, I dared to taste a piece of the green mush...and it actually did taste like pumpkin! That made me feel more encouraged to keep going.
Frying red onion, garlic, and fresh rosemary from my garden. Mmmmmmm.
I put all the boiled squash and the onion mixture in a big pot with chicken stock and salt and pepper. Cooked it for about another 15 minutes until it was nice and mushy, then blended it with my hand blender.
Ta-dah! Ayote soup. It looks like pea soup, doesn't it? 
It was actually quite delicious! So warm and thick and comforting, and a lovely flavour of squash and rosemary. Bert and I both ate a big bowl and there's tons left over for tomorrow.
Now if only I could have made Jamie's parmesan croutons to go with it! Maybe next time. :)

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