Thursday, January 2, 2014
African Peanut Soup
The world outside has been mostly ice for the last few weeks. My first steps out the door are always taken gingerly, although the dog trots along merrily. He, for one, is in love with this new land of ice - at the park he's more interested in munching on the ice that's coated the ground, as if the world is his own giant popsicle.
I'm less keen on the cold, even though I spent most of my life in northern Ontario where the winters are frigid and chill you to your core. I used to spend hours outside, in full snowsuit regalia, sledding in the sandpit until my face was red with the cold. I'd come in from sledding and my mother would make hot chocolate to warm me up, and I'd drink it slowly, letting the giant marshmallows I stacked it with melt and turn into gooey blobs of deliciousness.
This soup isn't exactly a hot chocolate with marshmallows, but it has a similar effect on you after coming in from the cold. It's spicy, rich, but full of enough greens to make you feel good about it. It also happens to be a cinch to whip up and budget friendly, too.
So if you're coming in from the cold and need to warm up, this is the soup for you.
African Peanut Soup
Adapted from Cookie + Kate
Spicy, rich, and packed with good greens, this is just the soup you'll want on a cold winter day. Feel free to add in some diced sweet potato or yams in addition to the kale.
1 medium red or yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp peeled & minced fresh ginger
2 tsp neutral oil
1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1 bunch kale or collard greens, chopped (any variety will do)
6 cups vegetable broth
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 heaping cup peanut butter (all natural)
salt, to taste
Sriracha (rooster sauce), for seasoning (optional)
chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish (optional)
1. Heat a soup pot over medium-low heat, then add the oil, chopped onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the cumin (if using) then pour in the vegetable broth. Whisk in the peanut butter, then the crushed tomatoes. Stir in the chopped kale, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 - 30 minutes. If you prefer a richer soup, let it simmer for an additional 10 minutes or so with the lid off, stirring occasionally.
3. When soup is ready, season with salt to taste, then serve and add a splash of Sriracha (highly recommended) and a sprinkling of crushed roasted peanuts, if you so desire. The soup will keep well in the fridge for 5 - 7 days.