It’s gotten quite cold lately. And by ‘cold’ I mean sub-15’C, it’s hardly cold. My girlfriend living in Moscow would be rolling her eyes at that – her idea of ‘cold’ is more like -30’C. Anyway, winter is finally here and so is the cold and wet.
When I’m in the mood for something quick, warm and comforting, I go to soups – always a ramen, pho or laksa, and always with extra chilli. I like the spice and the noodles – slurping them up leaves my lips feeling warm and tingly (and sometimes a little of it splattered down my front).
I put my ugg boots on as soon as I walked in the door over the weekend and got inspired to make Cookie and Kate’s, West African peanut soup, that’s been sitting in “the pile” for a few months now. I added rice noodles to this lovely creamy tomato based soup – the hint of garlic and ginger providing just enough warmth. Oh, and I recommend using the crunchy peanut butter! (says the girl who’s not really a peanut fan…).
West African peanut soup (adapted slightly from www.cookieandkate.com)
Serves: 4; Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 35 minutes
6 cups vegetable broth
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
2 nests vermicelli rice noodles
1 bunch spinach (or kale), ribs removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch strips
3/4 cup unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1/2 cup tomato paste, or 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes*
1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
– In a medium sized pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes
– In a medium-sized, heat-safe mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and tomato paste, then transfer 1 to 2 cups of the hot stock to the bowl. Whisk the mixture together until smooth, then pour the peanut mixture back into the soup and mix well. Stir in the collard greens and season the soup with hot sauce to taste. Simmer for about 15 more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often. Serve over cooked brown rice if you’d like, and top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts