Chef Folse's Mirliton Succotash Chowder

Prep Time: 1½ Hours

Yields: 8–10 Servings


Mirliton, which originated in Mexico, is known by many Americans as "chayote squash" or "vegetable pear" and by the French as "christophene." The vegetable was brought to Bayou Country by the Canary Islanders, called "Los Isleños," who relocated to Louisiana when Spain took ownership of New Orleans from France. This South Louisiana delicacy is wonderful when added to a soup or chowder.


4 large mirlitons (chayote squash), peeled, seeded and diced

4 slices bacon

4 tbsps butter

2 cups peeled, diced sweet potatoes

1 cup diced onions

½ cup sliced green onions

½ cup diced red bell peppers

½ cup diced green bell peppers

2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced

¼ cup minced garlic

1 cup diced smoked sausage

¼ cup flour

1 quart chicken broth or stock (see recipe)

1 cup frozen whole kernel corn

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles

1 cup diced yellow squash

1 cup diced zucchini

1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) lima beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups milk

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish


In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Using tongs, remove bacon from pot and place on paper towels to drain. To the hot bacon fat, add butter, stirring gently until melted. Add mirlitons, sweet potatoes, onions, green onions, bell peppers, jalapeños, minced garlic and sausage and sauté 5–7 minutes or until wilted. Sprinkle with flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add chicken stock, stirring constantly. Stir in corn, chiles, yellow squash, zucchini, red beans, black-eyed peas, lima beans and milk. Simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Ladle into serving bowls and crumble reserved bacon over soup. Garnish with cheese and serve hot.