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Cream of Merliton Shrimp and Crab Soup

Ingredients:

Merlitons
8
Diced
Olive oil
1/4 Cup
Butter
1/2 Cup
Onions
1 Cup
Chopped
Celery
1 Cup
Chopped
Bell Peppers
1/2 Cup
Red and Yellow
Garlic
2 Teaspoons
Minced
Shrimp
2 Cups
Peeled, Deveined and chopped in chunks
Crabmeat
1 Cup
Claw or white
Chicken Stock or Shrimp stock
2 Quarts
Half and Half
2 Cups
Salt
1/2 Teaspoon
Black pepper
1 Teaspoon
Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon
Flour
2 Tablespoons
Corn Starch
2 Teaspoons
Dissolve in cold broth

Preparation mode:

During the holidays in New Orleans, merlitons are very plentiful and inexpensive. We can buy them 4@ $1.00, so some are used to make stuffed merlitons for Thanksgiving ¬†and then enough to make a Cream of merliton soup during the holidays. If you can’t find merlitons where you live, Merliton is labeled as chayote in some supermarkets.
Instructions:
In a large pot, add whole merlitons and enough water to cover and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil, and cook until fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Transfer merlitons to a colander, and let stand until cool enough to handle.
Remove and discard seeds and fibrous membranes from merlitons flesh as possible. Peel the outer skin and dice in small pieces and add to a large bowl. If you prefer, you can also mash some of them. I like a few chunks in my soup.
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter over low heat until melted. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and merliton; cook until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and shrimp; cook for 2 minutes until shrimp are pink. Stir in pepper, salt, cayenne. Add fl our, stirring well. Add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into some of your cold broth and stir until dissolved. Pour in pot along with the rest of the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer. Add half and half and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Once soup has simmered add crabmeat and fold into the soup. Turn the heat off and let sit awhile before serving.

Serves 12-15 depending on serving scoop