Friday, March 5, 2010

Peanut Soup with Rice and Scallions

Recipe by Deborah Madison This Can't Be Tofu! Epicurious April 2000
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

My husband is a peanut fanatic. Back when he was teaching, he would take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to school every single day! Needless to say, he loved this soup. I made Baked Brown Rice (recipe on this blog) and while it was baking, I made the soup. When the rice was done, so was the soup! So, make a batch of this soup and ladle it over a serving of brown rice and you’ll have a very satisfying dinner. It makes a large pot full, so you’ll be able to feed a small crowd. Adjust the ginger, garlic, cayenne and/or red pepper flakes to suit your “heat” tolerance. (To save time, I used my food processor to chop all the veggies.)

2 tablespoons roasted peanut or vegetable oil
2 large onions, diced
2 large bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green, diced
2-3 teaspoons minced ginger (or use the kind in the jar)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and/or red pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 cups crushed tomatoes in sauce (I used the Glen Muir Fire Roasted Tomatoes.)
5 cups water or vegetable stock (I used a bit of both.)
3/4 cup peanut butter (I used the smooth peanut butter available in the bulk section at Lost River Market & Deli.)
1 box or 1/2 carton tofu, preferably soft (I used 1/2 carton of Silken soft tofu.)
1 lime (optional)
2 cups cooked rice (I made Baked Brown Rice—recipe on the blog.)
1 cup sliced scallions, including the green and white parts

1. Warm the oil in a wide soup pot set over high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, ginger, and sweet potatoes, and sauté, stirring frequently until the onions have begun to color, 8 to 10 minutes, adding the garlic after the first 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, several good twists of the pepper mill, and the cayenne to taste, and cook a few minutes longer.
2. Add the tomatoes and scrape the pot to lift up any brown bits from the bottom. Add the water or stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.
3. Add the peanut butter and cook, stirring, until it has dissolved
4. Remove 2 cups of the soup and purée with the tofu until perfectly smooth. Return this mixture to the soup. (If you wish, purée the entire soup.) Taste for salt and for the heat level, adding more cayenne if desired.
5. Serve with 1/3 cup rice mounded in each bowl and plenty of scallions scattered over the top. If desired, squeeze a little lime juice over each serving.

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