Since the winter cold hit, I’ve been craving a nice creamy, cheesy soup. Unfortunately, I can’t have any milk, butter, or cheese thanks to my daughter’s dairy allergy. So when my sister posted a recipe for peanut stew on her blog, I knew I had to make it.
I improvised a little (I don’t believe it counts as real cooking if you just follow the recipe!) and made a few changes so it was more like the fabulous African Peanut Soup that my favorite college dining hall used to make. That stuff was so good that whenever they made it, some of my friends would buy as much of it as they could carry back to their dorm rooms. And then come back and get more for dinner.
The stew was easy enough that I could make it while also feeding the baby. It turned out great and it definitely satisfied my creamy soup craving. Here is my modified recipe:
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots (or 1 sweet potato), chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs fresh ginger, minced or ginger paste
1-2 tbs curry powder (or next time I might use a Thai curry paste)
1 can of diced tomatoes or chunky salsa
1 jar of roasted red peppers packed in water (or 2 fresh), chopped
2 c. of chicken or veg. stock
2/3 c. smooth or chunky peanut butter
1 c. brown rice, lentils, or combination
salt to taste
Chopped or whole peanuts for a garnish (optional)
Cilantro for a garnish (optional)
Hot sauce for a garnish (optional)
Lime for a garnish (optional)
1. Heat a little olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots (if using them) and cook until softened (2-3 minutes). If using chicken, add it and cook until browned.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder, stir, and cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
3. Add the bell peppers, tomato/salsa, and sweet potatoes if using them, stir, and cook 1-2 minutes.
4. Add coconut milk, stock, peanut butter, and rice. Add salt to taste. Bring soup to a boil, then cover, turn down to low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until rice and carrots are cooked. Check halfway through and add more liquid (water or stock) if needed.
5. Serve soup, garnishing with peanuts, cilantro, hot sauce, and/or limes.
I don’t have a great picture of the soup when done (hey, I’m not a food photographer, OK!), but it looked and tasted great. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers!