Okay so the soup for this week is a little unusual. We like unusual, usually. Years ago, my husband & I tried an African peanut soup made by a friend. It had chicken and mango chutney and peanut butter, of course, amid a much-too-lengthy list of other ingredients. I never attempted to re-create it.
So when I came across a recipe in A Beautiful Bowl of Soup for another peanut-based soup, I thought I'd give it a whirl (appropriate word since you use your blender at one point during the recipe). The ingredient list for this one is not what I'd call short either, but it's not as lengthy as the other one. And this is a vegetarian version. It was a tad overwhelming in the peanut butter department as written, so I added in a can of diced tomatoes and a jar of salsa and tweaked the spices a bit.
Is it a keeper?
Well...my husband thinks so. As for the rest of us? The jury's still out.
In case you want to try it, here's the recipe:
Polynesian Peanut Soup
adapted from A Beautiful Bowl of Soup
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced (I used 6)
1 -14oz. can lite coconut milk
1 cup (1 quart) vegetable stock (I used chicken stock)
3/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 cup mango chutney (omitted because I didn't have any in the house)
1 Tbsp jalapeno, minced
1 jar salsa
1 -15oz can diced no-salt tomatoes
fresh ground pepper
pinch of chili powder
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions (didn't have any for the topping)
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro for topping (I stirred this into the soup while cooking instead)
sesame oil for drizzling on top (didn't use any - thought it was overkill)
1. Toast coconut in dry skillet over med heat 'til coconut is lightly browned. You have to stir constantly and watch - it'll easily burn. When toasted, remove coconut to bowl or plate & set aside.
2. Heat oil in soup pot over med heat. Cook onions, ginger, garlic together until softened, about 10 min or so. I actually like it to start to carmelize a tad.
3. Put onion mixture into blender along with coconut milk, stock, peanut butter & chutney (if using) along with jalapeno. Puree until smooth.
4. Put back into soup pot. Add in salsa, tomatoes, pepper, chili powder & cilantro. Heat again.
5. Serve with scallions & flaked coconut on top. Drizzle with oil if using.