Hey, What’s Cookin’?
Anyone who knows me knows about my intense love of peanut butter. When I learned that there was a soup–Spicy Peanut Stew–that had peanut butter as the primary protein, I was stoked and knew I had to feature it.
Today’s recipe is based on the classic North African stew of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and ground peanuts. But instead of high-carb sweet potatoes, this recipe uses oven-baked eggplant, which results in a lower carb count & gives us tons of flavor and fiber. Plenty of diced tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and peppers make this stew a veggie-luscious dream come true.
The peanut butter melds with the veggie stock and tomatoes and makes for a smooth, rich, broth. Don’t even think about reducing the amount of PB or leaving it out! There’s only 1 tablespoon per serving, which is quite acceptable. If you don’t have the spices mentioned, make an effort to find them inexpensively at a dollar store. They are a huge part of the flavor, and there aren’t any substitutes.
For a change from our beloved cauliflower rice, serve this stew over steamed broccoli florets–it’s really delicious.
Now if you DON’T like peanut butter (and I’ve heard it’s possible) you can substitute an equal amount of cashew butter. I am not sure if almond butter is a good substitute. If you do use almond butter, be sure to leave feedback in the comments and let us know how it went!
Spicy Peanut Stew
Adapted from: a recipe by Julia Moskin for NYT Cooking
- 2 large heads of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- Olive oil spray
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 tbs safflower or olive oil
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 2 medium red or orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and diced or grated on a microplane zester
- 1 to 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, reduced sodium if possible
- 4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable stock
- ½ cup natural unsweetened peanut butter (creamy or chunky, your preference)
- 1 med zucchini, divided lengthwise and sliced into half-rounds
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 lemons, quartered, for garnish (optional)
- 1/4 cup ground peanuts, for garnish (optional)
- extra chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
- Steam or microwave broccoli until stems can be pierced with a knife (do not overcook!). Place cooked broccoli in serving bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Place diced eggplant on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes (stirring after 15 minutes) or until eggplant is browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Measure the cumin, coriander, turmeric & crushed red pepper into a small bowl and set aside.
- Add 1 tbs oil to a heavy Dutch oven and place over medium heat.
- Add onions & bell peppers; cook for 5 min until translucent.
- Add ginger, chilies & garlic; stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Push vegetables to sides of Dutch oven. Add 1 tbs oil to center and then add the spices to the oil. Stir and cook spices in oil for 1 minute, then stir everything together.
- Add tomato paste; cook/stir for another minute.
- Add canned tomatoes, stock, eggplant, and peanut butter. Stir well to emulsify the peanut butter. Bring to a low boil and cook 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, add the zucchini, stir; cover and cook 15 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in chopped cilantro. Let cool slightly and taste; add salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary.
- To serve, place some broccoli in the bottom of a bowl and ladle soup over broccoli. Pass the lemon quarters, ground peanuts, and chopped cilantrol leaves so guests can garnish their servings as desired.
Notes: You can easily substitute other vegetables in this soup. Try yellow summer squash, green beans, carrots, or chopped baby kale.
Photograph via NYT Cooking