Hey, What’s Cookin’?
This October sure has been cold and rainy in New England! And what’s better for lunch than a big bowl of soup? Soup that are veggie-rich fill you up and leave you as satisfied as if you’d had a feast. But they don’t weigh on the stomach and won’t leave you feeling drowsy and unable to function, like a big feed would.
Today’s soup is Spicy Peanut Soup; delightfully spicy, loaded with delicious vegetables, and featuring peanut butter (and the #meltfamily KNOWS how I feel about PEANUT BUTTER!!!) for its protein source. Don’t be intimidated by the spice list–those spices should already be part of your kitchen arsenal. And if they’re not, shop the local discount stores and dollar stores where you can pick them up inexpensively (like, for a dollar–Hah!). The more spices on your shelf, the more great new recipes you can try.
I hope you make this Spicy Peanut Soup sometime this week–let me know if you do in the comments!
Spicy Peanut Soup
Adapted from: The New York Times
To keep the prep time down, get your eggplant ready and perform Step 1 first, then go back and assemble your other ingredients and do your peeling/chopping/etc. By the time you are ready to cook the eggplant, it will be good to go!
- 1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 3 tbs grapeseed or canola oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and microplane zested
- 1 to 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 14.5 ounce can roasted diced tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1/2 cup natural unsweetened peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 2 medium zucchini (6 to 8 ounces) quartered lengthwise then cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2″ pieces
- 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
- Cooked cauliflower rice, for serving
- Chopped roasted salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)
- In a colander, toss eggplant with 1 tsp salt; set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain well and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne; set aside.
- In a large pot, heat 2 tbs oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and fry, stirring often, until soft, crisp and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a large bowl, leaving oil in pot. Raise heat to high and add eggplant. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with shallots.
- Add 1 tbs oil to pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and jalapenos and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add spice mixture and cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add onion and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Add peanut butter to soup and whisk briskly until emulsified. Add diced tomatoes, stock or water, eggplant, shallots and a sprinkling of salt. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, add zucchini and green beans, cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Let cool slightly and taste; add salt if necessary. Serve in bowls with rice, garnished with cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts, if desired.
Notes: This soup tastes even better the next day! Consider making it 1 day ahead of time to allow it to fully develop its flavors!
Photograph via IC Mosokowitz