Peanut Soup with Rice and Scallions
Instead of white cubes of tofu bobbing in this African-style, soup where they look decidedly odd, I puree the tofu with a portion of the finished soup until everything is smooth. The tofu is there, but it doesn’t intrude. And this is a method you can use with virtually any pureed soup. If you wish, you can puree the entire soup, or leave it textured, with bits of sweet potatoes and peppers.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
One Pot MealYes
Recipe Coursehot appetizer
Dietary Considerationhot appetizer
Equipmentblender, food processor
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturehot & spicy, nutty, sweet, umami
Type of Dishhot soup
- 2 tablespoons roasted peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2 large bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green, diced into ½-inch chunks
- 2 teaspoons chopped ginger
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes in sauce
- 5 cups water, or chicken stock, or Basic Vegetable Stock
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- 1 box or ½ carton tofu, preferably soft
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup sliced scallions, including the firm greens
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.
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.
Add the peanut butter and cook, stirring, until it has dissolved.
Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree with the tofu until perfectly smooth. Return this mixture to the soup. (If you wish, puree the entire soup.) Taste for salt and for the heat level, adding more cayenne if desired.
Serve with 1/3 cup rice mounded in each bowl and plenty of scallions scattered over the top.
2000 Deborah Madison