I realize peanut soup doesn’t conjure the tastiest thoughts. Something like, “Mmm, try my PB and Onion sandwich–it’s great.” Still, though, hear me out. File this in the same part of your brain that contains spicy peanut noodles–that’ll help.
Spicy Peanut Vegetable Soup is a hearty winter stew, bolstered by the rich, warm, peanut-butter-thickened broth. The spiciness adds another element of heat, which I welcome with open arms this time of year. Oh, and this totally satisfying one-dish meal is vegan. Eat it for weeknight dinner.
Spicy Peanut Vegetable Soup (adapted from Soup, by Debra Mayhew)
Yield: 6 servings
Note: the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon cayenne, which would burn my face off. I’d start with 1/4 teaspoon and work your way up, adjusting to your taste. Also, you could use other forms of hot pepper if you don’t have cayenne. Throw a few dashes of tapatio in there if you prefer. I usually make this soup with red peppers, but happened to have poblanos this time, so I used a little less cayenne to compensate.
Second note: this recipe is very forgiving. If you have more of one vegetable and less of another, it’ll still be great.
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I actually don’t use olive oil here because I want a neutral flavor)
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or less–see note above)
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2″ chunks (or other peppers–see note above)
1-1/2 cups diced carrots
1-1/2 cups diced potatoes (I don’t peel mine)
1 cup diced celery
4 cups vegetable broth
6 Tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
2/3 cup corn kernels (frozen and thawed is ok)
More salt and freshly ground black pepper)
Roasted peanuts to garnish
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cayenne and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the red peppers, carrots, potatoes, and celery and cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vegetable broth, peanut butter, and corn kernels. Season with a little more salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Taste for salt and pepper one more time.
Sprinkle a few peanuts on top of each bowl when serving.