Tuesday, March 01, 2011

African-Inspired Quinoa Peanut Soup

Reposting an old, o-l-d family favorite. I still get lots of requests for this recipe every time I make it.

This is another one of those rare recipes that everyone in the entire family actually likes, and I don't have to leave out the offending ____ (fill-in-the-blank; mushrooms, onions, green specks, funny vegetables, weird spices, black specks, brown stuff, WHATEVER!) to make everyone happy.

I made this soup 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 (yes, THAT long ago) and gradually changed a few things to suit my tastes over the years - I like it 'cause it's fairly quick and easy (and healthy) - and my kids think the subtle jalapeno heat and mild peanut butter taste combo is great for soup!

OK, and I confess... especially when my Sprouts were little, they were very amused with the way the quinoa cooks up and it's little "tail" separates - they LOVED to say they had worms in their soup, which, I guess if you didn't know better, might make you wonder.

I know I said it was "fairly quick", I guess that depends on your interpretation - chopping the veggies takes a few minutes, sometimes I'll do them ahead of time so I can throw this together on a busy evening. Plus, it's gluten-free, if you need that. I don't specifically plan to make "gluten-free" recipes but do like to mention when they are.
Either way, it's good stuff.

As an aside, a little bit of bragging here: I originally posted this recipe a number of years ago, over at my favorite Vegetarian forums, Veggieboards.com.
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 cookbook "Vegetarian Soups for all Seasons". Woo!
Better yet, she also included it in the updated version: Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for all Seasons.

So (shameless self-promotion) check out "Vegan Soups..."! It's awesome!!
Actually all the recipes I've tried from both books are great - (if you have either 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 original 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
  • optional: any other veggies you'd like - we often add peas, green beans, corn, chick-peas, asparagus, okra or turnips.
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 cups 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!!)
  • optional - 1 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 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 (and fresh ginger is using).
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.
Simmer until quinoa is cooked and veggies are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes, adding more broth/water if needed to keep it from getting too thick.
Add peanut butter, using a wisk to blend in completely, and simmer another 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings.


JL Goes Vegan said...

That sound sounds divine. Love the heartiness of the quinoa and peanut butter. Mmm Mmm

Kia said...

Hi! I love quinoa and it's very rich of nutrient factors!!! I discover your blog right now and I like it!!! I'm Vegan and I have a blog equoecoevegan.blogspot.com…come in and leave me your review about it! Bye ^__^

Rachel W. said...

This looks amazing and I WILL be making this soon!! Love peanut buttery flavors in savory dishes.

Alex @ delicious-knowledge.com said...

Wow! This is exactly what I am looking for. I really love quinoa but I am running out of ideas for it.

I'm making this tomorrow- thank you, love your blog!

Alex @ delicious-knowledge.com said...

Wow! This is exactly what I am looking for. i LOVE quinoa but have been running out of cooking ideas, thanks!

CLCZ said...

I just made this and it really is delicious. I used a mix of sunflower oil and olive oil instead of margarine, used six garlic cloves instead of two, and added curly kale. The kale was really delicious so I would recommend that. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and it is delicious. Such a great winter warmer! Thank you!