Saturday, January 20, 2007

Quinoa-Peanut Veggie Soup (from Africa)

Made soup again tonight. Thought I'd post the recipe...

This is another family favorite (one of those rare things everyone actually likes!) I made it long before I had Sprouts to cook for - (and long before quinoa was readily available. I had to mail order it... 'cause way back then, I thought it was so unique and "exotic").

I originally got the recipe from a college roommate and gradually changed it to suit my tastes over the years - I like it 'cause it's fairly quick and easy (and healthy) - my kids think the subtle jalapeno heat and mild peanut butter taste combo is great for soup!

OK, I confess... they're also amused with the way the quinoa cooks up and it's little "tail" separates - they say it looks like little worms in the soup, which, I guess if you didn't know better, might make you wonder. Either way, don't be frightened off by my description - it's good stuff.

So, a little bit of bragging here: I originally posted this recipe over at my favorite Vegetarian forums,
Cookbook author Nava Atlas (yes, of cookbook fame) saw it there, tried it (and evidently liked it as much as we do!) and asked to include it in her latest cookbook "Vegetarian Soups for all Seasons". Woo!

So (shameless self-promotion) check out the book! Actually every recipe I've tried from the book is great - (if you have the book, you already know this). I happen to LOVE soup anyway and this is an awesome collection. But enough about that, here's my recipe (oh, it's on page 47 in the book, I think?) just in case you're interested:

Quinoa-Peanut Soup

2 Tb margarine
1 chopped onion or 2 med. leeks sliced (I prefer leeks, use all of white and tender part of green)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed (I use more)
1 fresh jalapeno, minced (Again, I use more)
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 diced celery stalks, with leaves (I usually leave this out, cause I don't care for celery all that much)
2 small diced zucchini
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cup vegetable stock (I use the "non-chicken" style broth)
1/2 cup quinoa, (some brands say to rinse and drain before using - I never have..)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 dash cayenne pepper or to taste (I use more!!)
1/2 cup chunky organic peanut butter, no honey or sugar

Wear rubber gloves to prepare fresh jalapeno pepper if you need to - or just be careful.
In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt margarine over medium-high heat. When margarine is hot and bubbly, add all veggies, and cumin and oregano.
Saute 10 -15 minutes, or until vegetables are softened.
Add stock, quinoa, black pepper and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.
Simmer until quinoa is cooked and veggies are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Add peanut butter, using a wisk to blend in completely, and simmer another 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings.
(I almost always throw grated fresh ginger in there somewhere but it's not necessary).


Dori said...

Looks like this little soup could be a tad spicy... but interesting. I have seen other african soup recipes, but if this one is t go in thecookbook (a famed recipe for sure), I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing it.

bazu said...

Wow, that is so impressive that you came up with this recipe and Nava Atlas put it in her book! I've tried this soup and absolutely love it. You always come up with really delicious recipes.

Fairly Odd Tofu Mom said...

Dori, the heat can be controlled with how much jalapeno you use. My mom loves this soup and she just leaves the spicy pepper out alltogether.

Thanks guys. :)

TC said...

sounds yummy! It is so cool that you had your recipe published. I look forward to trying it out.

Candi said...

You're famous!! :) :) I love that book, and have yet to try this recipe. It looks really delicious!!

Congrats for being published!!! That's exciting!

Nikki said...

Yay! Way to go! I have yet to try this but I really want to. Two of my favorite things-peanut and quinoa!

Pixie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pixie said...

Wow, so cool. You're famous! I'd love to try the recipe, the ingredients all sound so yummy. I must admit, though, that I've never tried quinoa. I'm glad you pointed out how it cooks, that way when I finally do cook it I'm not freaked out LOL. Thanks for sharing. Too cool.

Jeffrey said...

Thank you for putting the spotlight on quinoa.
I'm not fully vegetarian, but I like these recipes.

Anonymous said...

that sounds fantastic. I've gotta try it. I know for sure my boyfriend would love it.

aTxVegn said...

Nava's cookbook and Food Network - you are quite the celeb! I have the soup book and am slowly working my way through. I will definitely make this one!

Dori said...

I did it, I must admit. I made this soup last night. I don't know why I was impressed it cooked up so creamy, but it did. Thanks for sharing this. Now, i wonder what to serve it with. What do Africans eat with their soup?

Actaully I enjoyed the heat, it wasn't to bad. I like the flavor.