When I worked downtown, I would often grab lunch at Hale and Hearty Soup, a place that offered about 10 different kinds of soup each day. My favorite was the Senegalese Peanut soup. It was a vegetable soup with a kick of cayenne that tasted strongly of peanuts. It also had some chicken in it. I really loved it.
The other day, I was flipping through the Food Network magazine while I was having my hair cut and I came across this recipe. One look at the ingredients and I knew I had to try it. The peanut butter in it reminded me of the Senegalese Peanut soup that I used to love.
The soup comes together in no time at all and it’s a nice change from plain old tomato soup. The peanut butter really gives the soup a nice flavor and it’s incredibly filling. I found that this soup was excellent when first made, but even better the next day.
When I made this, I used a Vidalia onion because it was what I had on hand and it was perfect. This soup is going to become part of my regular soup rotation during the cooler months.
Tomato Peanut Soup
Recipe from Food Network Magazine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped, plus leaves for topping
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Madras-style curry powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Creme fraiche, fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts, for topping (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery; cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, paprika, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, 2 more minutes.
Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, brown sugar and 1 cup water to the pot, then whisk in the peanut butter until incorporated. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly, about 30 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender in batches. Season with salt and black pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Suggested toppings, if desired: creme fraiche, celery leaves, cilantro and peanuts. Drizzle with olive oil.
Yield: 6 servings